Born in Rotan, TX; married; children: two children. Education: Attended West Texas State and University of Georgia.
Home—3418 Grandview Dr., San Angelo, TX 76904.
Author and educator. Formerly worked as an elementary school teacher.
The Air Force in Action, Enslow (Berkeley Heights, NJ), 2001.
Flying Higher: The Women Airforce Service Pilots of World War II, Linnet Books (North Haven, CT), 2002.
Women of the Wind: Early Women Aviators, Morgan Reynolds (Greensboro, NC), 2006.
A writer and former teacher, Wanda Langley grew up in Littlefield, Texas. She often heard stories from her mother's family, who lived in Sweetwater, stories of the brave and inspiring women who joined the Women Airforce Service Pilots. Known as the WASPs, the group was formed in 1942 to answer the large demand for pilots during World War II. Inspired by these stories, Langley conducted extensive interviews with many former WASP members and produced the book Flying Higher: The Women Airforce Service Pilots of World War II.
Hailed as a well-researched and compelling read, Flying Higher provides readers with the historical backdrop to the formation of WASP, including profiles of
key individuals such as organizers Jacqueline Cochran and Nancy Harkness Love. Langley also includes detailed information regarding WASP training programs and gives her readers a unique perspective on history by following the members of one particular class of students. "Langley balances technical information and per- sonal stories, making for a satisfying narrative," commented School Library Journal reviewer Laura Reed of the book. Noting that WASPs performed vital wartime tasks, such as transporting men and materials within North America and safety-testing aircraft, GraceAnne A. DeCandido wrote in Booklist that "teens will be captured by the youth and expertise of these women," who have only recently been recognized by the U.S. government.
Well-known women aviators such as Ruth Law, Bessie Coleman, Harriet Quimby, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, and Amelia Earhart are profiled in Langley's Women of the Wind: Early Women Aviators, a work that "captures the true spirit and strength" of a group of early twentieth-century women who "triumphed over diversity and tragedy" to prove their capabilities, according to School Library Journal contributor Hope Marie Cook. Noting the attention more recently paid to female pilots, a Kirkus Reviews writer maintained that Langley's profile, a "salute" to the pilots' "enterprising spirits," "flies above the rest."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Abilene Reporter News, July 2, 2006, Glenn Dromgoole, review of Women of the Wind: Early Women Aviators.
Booklist, November 1, 2002, GraceAnne A. DeCandido, review of Flying Higher: The Women Airforce Service Pilots of World War II, p. 488; February 15, 2006, Carolyn Phelan, review of Women of the Wind, p. 108.
California Bookwatch, April, 2006, review of Women of the Wind.
Kirkus Reviews, December 15, 2005, review of Women of the Wind, p. 1324.
School Library Journal, August, 2002, Laura Reed, review of Flying Higher, p. 211; February, 2006, Hope Marie Cook, review of Women of the Wind, p. 150.
Voice of Youth Advocates, December, 2002, review of Flying Higher, p. 406.
San Angelo Standard Times Online,http://web.gosanangelo.com/ (July 21, 2002), Annika Reichardt, "The History of Fly Girls."