Jatinder, taking part in a football summer school, is frustrated with his tendency to avoid risk by passing the ball onto team mates instead of having a go at goal himself. His lodgings prove a welcome distraction, situated on an old airfield and near an RAF base, they are rich in the history of two world wars. Jatinder is intrigued by a book he is given about Hardit Singh Malik, the first ever Sikh pilot to fly warplanes. When Jatinder sees the ghostly apparition of a Sikh pilot he is not sure if he is imagining it, or if the airfield really is haunted as his host seems to think?
One night he finds he has travelled back in time and he is at the controls of a Sopwith Camel; a World War One pilot himself. Shot down over enemy territory, he is captured after bravely jumping from his burning plane. As a prisoner of war he daringly takes the opportunity to sabotage the German war effort, at the same time conquering his present day fears of taking risks.
This is an exciting adventure story which draws on several real life stories about First World War airmen. The story of Hardit Singh Malik highlights the key role of ethnic minorities within our armed forces and their struggle to be accepted. Flyboy is full of carefully researched detail about airplanes and the book features a Sopwith Camel on the jacket flaps to cut out and make. This is the first of a series by Tom Palmer written in conjunction with the RAF museum in the lead up to the RAF’s centenary in 2018. Published by Barrington Stoke, this book is specially designed to be supportive for children with dyslexia or who find reading challenging.