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Wind Flyers
by Angela Johnson and Loren Long


Overview - Three-time Coretta Scott King Award-winning author Johnson presents this bittersweet story about a young boy inspired by his great-great uncle, who was a member of the Tuskegee Airmen, an elite squadron of black pilots during World War II.  Read more...

 
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More About Wind Flyers by Angela Johnson; Loren Long
 
 
 
Overview
Three-time Coretta Scott King Award-winning author Johnson presents this bittersweet story about a young boy inspired by his great-great uncle, who was a member of the Tuskegee Airmen, an elite squadron of black pilots during World War II.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780689848797
  • ISBN-10: 068984879X
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
  • Publish Date: January 2007
  • Page Count: 32
  • Reading Level: Ages 5-9


Related Categories

Books > Juvenile Fiction > People & Places - United States - African-American
Books > Juvenile Fiction > Historical - Military & Wars
Books > Juvenile Fiction > Family - Multigenerational

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 57.
  • Review Date: 2006-11-20
  • Reviewer: Staff

The team behind I Dream of Trains masterfully presents a story of the Tuskegee Airmen, as light and graceful as the air in which they navigated their planes. A boy recounts his great-great-uncle's experience as one of these unsung heroes. Long's humorous early paintings show the young would-be pilot jumping from a hayloft, conveying his early love of heights and flight. Likening the very idea of flying to Heaven ("with clouds, like soft blankets, saying, 'Come on in, get warm. Stay awhile and be a wind flyer too' "), Uncle makes flying seem so inviting to the boy, that readers will likely wish to be just like Uncle, too. When, as a Tuskegee Airman, Uncle finally puts his own dream into motion and his plane takes off for the first time, readers may well want to stand up and cheer. The occasion is all the more celebratory because of how rare it was for African-Americans to get an opportunity like this, as Johnson's poetic text subtly conveys: "Air Force didn't want us at first," Uncle says. (A closing author's note explains the founding and achievements of the airmen trained in Tuskegee, Ala.) Long's illustration of this momentous occasion features brushstrokes so vivid, they practically launch Uncle's plane right off the page. Both author and artist guard a careful balance between nostalgia and the timelessness of childhood aspirations. Together, they turn a quiet moment in history into a story that will send spirits soaring. Ages 5-9. (Jan.)

 
BookPage Reviews

Picture books interpret Black History for young readers

"Great-great-uncle was a wind flyer. A smooth wind flyer, a Tuskegee wind flyer." The first words of Wind Flyers soar off the page just like Uncle soared from the side of a barn when he was seven years old. Whether you already know the long, storied history of the Tuskegee airmen or are just learning about them, this new book by Coretta Scott King Award-winning author Angela Johnson brings to life the struggles faced by African-American servicemen in World War II. But Johnson's book is more than a history book—it is also a celebration of the joy of flight and following one's passion, even when the rest of the world would keep you from it. Artist Loren Long's graceful acrylics beautifully illustrate the heartache of longing and the joy of success. Perhaps a whole new generation of readers will now discover the moving story of the Tuskegee airmen and the importance of following a dream.

 
BAM Customer Reviews