The Seabirds Trilogy

Imagine: it’s early summer. 1939. Your mother is dying from tuberculosis. You are packed up and sent to Maine to live with an eccentric aunt while your parents sail off to Switzerland as a last ditch effort to heal your mom.

This is exactly where Agatha finds herself. What she imagines will be a drab summer of fretting over her parents and learning to paint birds, turns into a grand adventure that will set her course for the duration of World War II.

The Seabirds Trilogy follows Agatha (dubbed Piper by her aunt), her aunt Edie, Horatio, Peter, and her three German-Jewish cousins. Ultimately what starts out as a combination honeymoon and attempt to meet up with her parents (Book 1) leads to her three cousins in Palestine each fighting, in their own way, for a homeland (Book 2). And ultimately, culminates in Australia on the Western Front! (Book 3).

Glasner has created a trilogy that both entices and educates. Full of historic references, these books take you on an adventure from Europe to Palestine to Hawaii to Australia. The characters are rich and real and quite frankly, tougher than nails.

Be prepared to be transported back to, what is quite possibly, the darkest time in the world’s history. As you get lost in the story, you will escape from the Nazi’s, smuggle Jewish children out of Europe, go undercover, learn to fly planes, go on secret missions, and escape a Japanese POW camp.

Book 1: Voyage of the Sandpiper

Awesomeness:

*Historical accuracy! All of her historical references are noted so you can look into them deeper.

Cautions:

*This book is set in WWII and while Glasner does not get graphic at all, concentration camps are mentioned, characters die, anti-Semitic comments are made, and there is some undercover work necessary to save lives.

Book 2: Flight of the Seahawks (My favorite!)

Awesomeness:

*Strong female characters

*Lots of historical information regarding a Jewish homeland in Palestine.

*Uniquely written

Cautions:

*Mostly takes place in Egypt and Palestine during WWII.

*Characters get involved in the fighting.

*Relationships between Arabs and Jews

Book 3: Song of the Storm Petrel

Awesomeness:

*Continued historical references

*Characters come to know Jesus

*Families are reunited

Cautions:

*Japanese treatment of POWs

*The dropping of the Atomic bomb

Note: the author reached out for me to review her books. I received the books for free but was otherwise uncompensated. The above thoughts are my own.

Flygirl

Flygirl

Grade Level: 4th

 

Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith was a very delightful read. It not only discussed events of WWII, but it zeroed in on the sacrifices made by women.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this book. It was empowering to read about the role of women in WWII. This book opens a discussion on gender, race, and religious issues. The main character, Ida Mae, is a fair skinned African-American woman living in Louisiana. She was taught to fly a small crop duster by her father but was unable to get her pilot’s license because of her color. Upon hearing of the WASP recruitment, she decides to use her fair complexion to get into the program.

This book does show readers the challenges faced by African-Americans in the 1940s as well as the challenges all women faced. The male characters in the book make snide comments about the ability of women to fly planes. There is even some ribbing between the women in regards to one girl being Jewish. On page 76, one of the characters says: “‘Carnies and hicks and Jews, oh my!”’

Because of the racial slanders, general belittling of women, and religious slurs, I would highly encourage parents to read this book before their child to get a better sense of the content and then decide if their child is mature enough to handle it. One of the friends of Ida Mae is very flirty and boy crazy. The author does a good job of making her comments nothing too risque. For example, on page 26 Jolene says, “… but I’ll be alive and looking good when those boys come home again. Remind them of what they’ve been fighting for.” There are also a few times where the girls visit local bars.

This book does lend itself to a whole lot of research potential. Your child can look into the planes mentioned, the WASP program, roles of Russian women in their military, and the roles of minorities in the army.

 

Overall, I believe that Flygirl is a worth-while read and would pair nicely with any nonfiction reading or research your child is doing over WWII. I think it would make a great book for a discussion group.
*All opinions and thoughts in this blog belong to the blogger and are not affiliated with the author.

<a href=”http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/16775991/?claim=cy77565rtz9″>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>