Velva Jean Learns to Fly

Velva Jean Learns to Fly

Book - 2011
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After Pearl Harbor and the start of World War II, fiercely independent heroine Velva Jean enlists, gets her wings, risks her life--and her heart in this bold and inspiring novel f rom the author of the New York Times bestsellers Holding Up the Universe and All the Bright Places (soon to be a major motion picture starring Elle Fanning).

Bristling at the limitations faced by a woman in rural Appalachia and fueled by the memory of her late Mama telling her to "live out there," Velva Jean hits the road to pursue her dream of singing at the Grand Ole Opry. Little does she know that another captivating adventure awaits: one that will send her literally soaring.

But then, her beloved big brother pays a surprise visit and treats Velva Jean to a flying lesson that ignites a brand-new dream: to become a female pilot with the WASPs of World War II. Funny, poignant, and utterly unforgettable, Velva Jean Learns to Fly will have fans cheering all over again.

"A major achievement."-- Southern Literary Review
Publisher: New York : Plume, 2011.
ISBN: 9780452297401
Characteristics: 412 p. ;,21 cm.

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Roundcat
Dec 07, 2014

In the second book of Velva Jean's adventures, she finds that getting onto the stage of the Grand Ol Opry is not as easy as she thought, but she makes a friend, finds a job, and her brother, Johnny Clay turns up. WWII is well underway, and he has volunteered to be a paratrooper. While he's waiting to report for training, he figures that learning to fly would be a good idea, and he encourages Velva Jean to take lessons too. Her instructor gives her a Life magazine describing two government sponsored programs for women aviators. She decides to join the Women's Flying Training Detachment (WFTD). After training, she is assigned to Camp Davis, where women pilots are not welcome, Butch Dawkins shows up again and reawakens her goal to write songs, and she manages to avoid being killed several times. This book kept me turning pages to see what could possibly happen next. Great read!

c
CindyL
Aug 24, 2013

Wonderful book. I couldn't put it down. Jennifer Niven has written a book about a courageous young women who learns how to live "beyond the keep," It also tells the story of the brave women who became WASPs and flew all kinds of planes during World War II---even the B-29--- as a way to serve their country and support the war effort. It is a fast-paced book, with unforgettable characters and adventures.

rowanquincy Mar 29, 2012

Totally not what I expected. Velva Jean is a strong, courageous woman with a big heart. Her path as a singer in Nashville does not have a predictable ending. Her adventures as a pilot show that the author spent time in research in the WWII era, and does not gloss over the problems the pioneering women pilots had with the male pilots who harassed and sabotaged them. I greatly enjoyed this book and was only sorry that it ended.

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