Alice wants to do something more for the war than just writing to her Uncle David (almost) everyday. So the next day, after school, she heads over to the Red Cross, where she can fold bandages for wounded soldiers. On her way, she envisions herself being introduced on the radio as a real patriot for her bandage folding. Though is it satisfying enough work, Alice still dreams of being a plane spotting heroine.
Then, as she and her Gramps are preparing a bomb shelter at home, Alice talks him into letting her use her grandmother's opera glasses (if it's OK with mom) and hits on the idea of joining the plane spotters in the Ground Observation Corps. But when she asks Mr. Parker, the head of the corps, about joining, he tells her she is too young. Taking pity on her, he gives Alice an old Ground Observer's manual that is still serviceable.
|Civil Air Patrol|
Sure enough, Jimmy gets his license and begins flying and Alice flies with him, at least in her imagination. Meanwhile, with hard won permission to plane spot, Alice does her patriotic duty spotting and keeping a meticulous log book. But then, one cold winter night, a phone call comes, saying that Jimmy's plane was lost over the sea because of a nor'easter and it doesn't look good. Upset, Alice passes out and spends a number of days in bed, seriously ill.
When she recovers, she is told that Jimmy had been found alive, but in pretty bad condition. And to her chagrin, Alice discovers that binoculars and log book have been take away once again. And that would seem to be the end of Alice's spotting days. Or is it? There is a big surprise in store for Alice and her meticulous log book.
|Plane Spotting Cards|
This is a heart-warming story with lots of humorous bits, lots of slang and some pretty serious stuff, too. I loved that she wanted to be a plane spotter, and really was dedicated to it, even at the risk of falling out the window. The most amazing part of the novel was that a 16-year-old boy was allowed to fly a plane alone the way Jimmy did, but it certainly demonstrates how different times were back then.
This book was recommended for readers age 9+
This book was purchased for my personal library.
Be sure to visit the National Museum of the Civil Air Patrol where you can see an extensive online exhibit of the role CAP played in World War II.