In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered the U.S. Army to form the 99th Fighter Squadron, which was to be the first squadron of black pilots. The story’s main character, Henry Gooding, had always dreamed of becoming a pilot. He signed up right away for the 99th Fighter Squadron. But the road would be far from easy. Tuskegee Institute, where the pilots were to be trained, was located in the heart of the South, where there was still segregation. The pressure was on.
This historical fiction story follows Henry Gooding through his training and into brave battles overseas. Despite the poor way they are treated at home, Henry and the other pilots of the 99th fight brilliantly for America during World War II. Their courage in the face of prejudice and war, and their incredible skill in the air make the Tuskegee airmen an important chapter in the history of the struggle for equal rights.
Author: Godwin Chu
Guided Reading Level: L
Lexile Level: 670