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Wind Flyers

4.13  ·  Rating Details ·  127 Ratings  ·  45 Reviews
All he ever wanted to do was fly.

Three-time Coretta Scott King Award-winning author Angela Johnson and New York Times bestselling illustrator Loren Long invite readers to ponder a band of undercelebrated World War II heroes -- the Tuskegee Airmen. With fleeting prose and transcendent imagery, this book by the masterful author/artist duo reveals how a boy's love of flig
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published January 9th 2007 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
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Otis by Loren LongAngela and the Baby Jesus by Frank McCourtMy Dog, My Hero by Betsy ByarsThe Wonders of Donal O'Donnell by Gary D. SchmidtThe Day the Animals Came by Frances Ward Weller
Best of Loren Long
10th out of 49 books — 1 voter
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Picture Books for Black History Month
10th out of 76 books — 5 voters

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Community Reviews

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May 03, 2016 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Alex Baugh
Feb 20, 2011 Alex Baugh rated it it was amazing
Shelves: world-war-2
Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream.

Today we honor him and his dream.

Wing Flyers is the story of another man who also had a dream. His dream was to fly and his story is told by his young and very proud nephew, who now shares his love of flying. It is interesting that we never learn the names of uncle and nephew, making it feel like a collective honor for all the men who were part of the original Tuskegee Airmen.

His uncle had wanted to fly from the time he was a little boy. He tried to fly at th
Jordan Smith
Summary: Wind Flyers is a book that emphasizes the heroes of World War 2 which are the Tuskegee Airmen. When he was still a very little boy Great-great-uncle dreamed of flying. It was all he wanted to do. When he was just five he jumped off the chicken coop and when he was seven he jumped off the barn. When he was a eleven he paid to go up a little plane and he knew then “what it was like to go into the wind, against the wind, beyond the wind.” When Uncle grew up he became a Tuskegee Airman with ...more
Kaytlyn Witcher
Wind Flyers is a book that emphasizes the heroes of World War 2- the Tuskegee Airmen. It tells the story about a great-great African American uncle that loved to fly, the inviting sensation he got from clouds is what he enjoyed most. All he ever wanted to do was fly, he jumped off barns to fly, he paid money to fly in a plane as a co-pilot, and when he was old enough he enlisted into the Air Force. When he enlisted into the Air Force, he tells the young boy that they didn’t want him at first. ...more
Ethelen V.
Apr 04, 2014 Ethelen V. rated it really liked it
Shelves: etl2368

Johnson, A., & Long, L. (2007). Wind flyers. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.

This book tells the story of the Tuskegee Airmen, an all black fighter pilot quad who served during World War II. This troop was not only unique because they were all black but because they were the only escort fighter pilot troop that never lost a single bomber plane they protected. The story is shared between an uncle and his nephew. They share a love for flying. The uncle who was initia
Karissa Kelly
Wind Flyers is a book based on the all-black 99th Pursuit Squadron called the 332nd Fighter Group. A great-great-nephew tells the story of his great-great-uncle flying as a Tuskegee wind flyer.

Uncle was always interested in flying. He would jump off chicken coops and barns, flap his arms, and fall into hay just to feel like he was flying. When he was eleven, he got to go up in a flying barnstormer, and he never wanted to come down. As he got older, Uncle joined the 332nd as a Tuskegee Airman. H
Elizabeth Woodruff
Mar 31, 2016 Elizabeth Woodruff rated it it was amazing
This book is about a young boys uncle and his dream of flying. His uncle had always wanted to fly a plane since he was five years old. The young boys uncle became a Tuskegee Airman when he was older. Since he was African American, not many squadrons wanted him and his friends. As time went by he had finally become a wind flyer. A Tuskegee wind flyer. The young boy's uncle tells about all the adventures he had flying as a wind flyer. Sometimes his uncle would take him up in the air to fly upon ...more
Sarah (Books Before Bandaids)
Aug 19, 2016 Sarah (Books Before Bandaids) rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Wind Flyers by Angela Johnson with illustrations by Loren Long tells the story of the Tuskegee Airmen. A young African American boy tells the story of his Uncle who always wanted to fly, even when he was young and his attempts at flying included jumping off the chicken coop. When given the chance to join the military and fly, Uncle is thrilled, despite the fact the military only reluctantly gives the Tuskegee Airmen responsibility with not a lot of respect. After World War II Uncle turns to crop ...more
Jan 28, 2016 Safina rated it it was amazing
Summary: A young African American boy tells the story of his uncle who always wanted to fly. Uncle jumps from the top of the chicken coop and then from the barn and one day he becomes a Tuskegee Flyer in the war. He comes back and becomes a crop duster, because this job allows him to continue flying.
Review: The story is set in the time before during and after the Second World War, when African Americans were reluctantly taken in to the army and given more responsibility and respect. It is told i
Cheriee Weichel
Jul 01, 2015 Cheriee Weichel rated it it was amazing
I'm in awe of the creators of this book.

A young girl tells the story of her great, great uncle, a man who was was passionate about flying as a child. He was a pilot with the Tuskegee Airman during the war, and a crop duster afterwards. It's the uncle's experiences that compel us to read - his passion for flying, his challenges during the war, and at the same time as we learn about him, this book takes on powerful issues.

"Air force didn't want us at first.
Only four squadrons like us," he
Lindsay Wallace
Sep 20, 2012 Lindsay Wallace rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-aloud
"Wind Flyers" by Angela Johnson is a wonderfully written story of a little boy enamored by the stories his uncle tells of his lifelong love of flying. Eventually, his uncle became a Tuskegee Airman. This would be a wonderful book to read during black history month or when learning about WWII. The illustrations are beautifully done by Loren Long and really contribute to the storyline and effectiveness.
I chose this book for my read aloud because it is a book that ties in wonderfully with social st
Kacie Blakley
Oct 09, 2014 Kacie Blakley rated it it was amazing
We all have our biggest dreams, including young children. Wind Flyers is a story of a little black boy who dreamed of being able to fly up in the sky among the clouds. He grew up to become a Tuskegee Airman in World War II, and lived to tell many generations about his adventures “into the wind, against the wind, and beyond the wind”. This informative picture book creatively teaches a unique story from World War II and addresses the discrimination against black people. A picture of the Tuskegee ...more
Maggie Sideris
Jun 02, 2016 Maggie Sideris marked it as to-read
Title: Wind Flyers
Grade Level: Kindergarten-4th grade
Summary: This book is about the Tuskegee Airmen from WWII. It is about this boy 19s uncle, who loved flying and airplanes, and his adventure that lead him to become one of the greatest unrecognized heroes in American history.
Review: This was such an interesting book. The illustrations were great and really brought the book to life. I love that this book shows the reader to be brave.
In Class Uses: 1. This book can be taught to teach children ab
Ashlynn Armstrong
Feb 18, 2016 Ashlynn Armstrong rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s-lit
This book was about a boy whose uncle is telling him about when he became a wind flyer. The uncle's entire life all the wanted to was fly planes and one day he finally got the opportunity. He told his nephew that when he was at war some people did not come home but they never left the plane they were protecting. He is now a crop duster, and he says while the planes are different the clouds still sound the same.

This was not one of my favorite books. I had a hard time following exactly what was ha
Maddie Taylor
Mar 31, 2016 Maddie Taylor rated it it was amazing
Wing Flyers is the story of man who dreamed of flying since he was a little boy! He ended up being one of the Tuskeegee Airmen. This story is told by his nephew who also loves to fly! How cool is that? I appreciated this book and will definitely use this in my library! The illustrations are stunning! This book would be great to use for counseling. For kids who may be depressed or extremely unconfident, this book shows how dreams really do come true and how you can become anything you want to be, ...more
Demi Sienna
Oct 15, 2014 Demi Sienna rated it it was amazing
I absolutely love this story because it is very inspiring and touching. This story refers to the Tuskegee airmen during World War II. These men were heroes. The author brings up their story through a little boy who loves flying. This little boy leaves his native Alabama for Europe to serve his country America.
This story is a historical genre but it is very family-oriented without a doubt. It is age-appropriate and multicultural. The illustrations are very realistic. It relates to my topic of Af
Kaitlyn Tankersley
This story is about the WWII Tuskegee Airmen and emphasis the effect the had on the war. It tells the story from the point of view of a little boys Uncle who fought in the war. He tells of his desire to fly and how he enlisted in the Air Force as soon as he could. He tells tales of his flights and how some of his friends never made it back. I would use this book to teach my students about World War 2 and the impact it had on our country. I would use this story to emphasis that African American ...more
Apr 12, 2015 Matthew rated it it was amazing
This is a motif that Johnson has used before, the grandparent describing the past to a grandchild. This time, it's a pilot and former Tuskegee Airman describing the life that led to such a prolific career in aviation. It's all about the love of flying and perseverance to over needed to overcome adversity. The endnotes do a good job of describing the role the Tuskegee Airmen played in American military success. Another solid book from Angela Johnson, a true master.
Mar 28, 2011 Jackie rated it really liked it
Wind Flyers is a beautifully illustrated story of the Tuskegee Airman, the WWII heroes who never lost a bomber to enemy fighters. This brave, segregated squadron was trained in Tuskegee, Alabama, although the Army had no intention of using them in combat. Under pressure, however, the Roosevelt Administration sent these men to North Africa and flew with loyalty, bravery, and determination. A lost historical perspective that which celebrates heroes which were all but forgotten.

Rosa Cline
I really appreciate this story and enjoyed reading it. Our History is important and teaching it to our children is a MUST. This story teaches about the first colored men to fly and fight in the war. They originally weren't allowed to fight but the President of the United States stepped up and helped them overcome that barrier. This is simple enough that a child can read it and understand and then become interested to read more about the Tuskegee Airmen.
Vanessa Wilder
Apr 19, 2015 Vanessa Wilder rated it it was amazing
This is a book about under celebrated and under appreciated World War II Heroes. The most poignant part of this book was the line “ All he ever wanted to do was fly.” Plain and simple, yet touching. There were a lot of brave souls that played a huge part in the history of America, and yet they are overlooked.

Act: Look up other famous people that have been overlooked in World War I & II.
Feb 04, 2016 Monique rated it really liked it
Shelves: library-book
I've decided to read 29 children's book during Black History month 2016. This was book #2. The story follows the development of the Tuskegee Airmen. The illustrations are outstanding. This book would be great for 2nd grade and younger but something the entire family could enjoy. I see great discussion going on while reading this book with several generations.
Jan 06, 2008 Curlita rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-with-kids
We've checked this out from the library over and over and over again... Dylan loves this book. It's a kid's book about the Tuskegee airmen, poetically written and beautifully illustrated. I don't know exactly what the appeal is for him, but it's always a hoot to have my three year old talking to me about Tuskegee airmen... which he enunciates very clearly and carefully. :)
Bill Prosser
Aug 21, 2007 Bill Prosser rated it it was amazing
Probably my favorite summer picture book. The story of the Tuskegee airmen combined with the colorful, interesting pictures make this an awesome book to share with kids. Another cool thing is that both author and illustrator are from Ohio! I will be sharing this one with kids soon.
Ashley Cochran
This book is about 5 African-American men who learn how to fly in an airplane who then go on to join in World War II. The Tuskeegee Airmen were the first African-American’s to be in a war. I would use this book for a history lesson and to also show my students that anything is possible.
Sarah Souther
A poetic description of a man's flying memories, told by his great-great nephew. This Wind Flyer was a Tuskeegee Airman. The limited opportunities for African-Americans during this period are mentioned, but the main story is about the joy an old man and a young many find in flying.
Nov 16, 2010 Matthew rated it liked it
This was OK. I felt like its central point of diversity and was overshadowed by its artistic and musical style. A wonderful book for African American History month and discussions or units on the Tuskegee Airmen.
Mar 27, 2013 Liz rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2012-13
Reads like a poem... "Great-great-uncle was a wind flyer. A smooth wind flyer. A Tuskegee wind flyer..." Poetic tale of his young life dreaming of flying to his air force service and beyond. Brief author's note about the all-black 99th Pursuit Squadron. Of course I want to know more!
Kathryn H
Jan 12, 2012 Kathryn H rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this picture book because it was a history, which I love. It tells the story of a boy's great uncle being a Tuskegee Airman. I recently went to Tuskegee Alabama and saw the airstrip where they trained and flew. I am actually a junior ranger for the Tuskegee Airman Nation Site.
Aug 03, 2016 Shelli rated it really liked it
Beautifully illustrated quick read to introduce elementary age students to the under celebrated and little known Tuskegee Airmen, who served during World War II; despite their groups being segregated from other air battalions.
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