Celebrating the hundredth anniversary of powered flight
From Katharine Wright, sister of the Wright brothers, to Eileen Collins, the first woman commander of a spacecraft, scores of women have played critical roles in our country’s history of aviation. Wilbur and Orville Wright, who pioneered powered flight in 1903, knew how much they owed to Katharine. “When the world speaks of the Wrights,” said Orville, “they should not forget our sister.” Although Katharine Wright was among the first women to ride in an airplane, Blanche Stuart Scott was the first to sit at the controls. To achieve her dream, Blanche overcame sexism and other obstacles. The same can be said of every woman whose piloting career is highlighted here – Bessie Coleman, Amelia Earhart, Jackie Cochran, Ann Baumgartner Carl, Jerrie Cobb, Shannon Wells Lucid, and others. Their stories are sure to fire the imaginations of readers and encourage them to “follow their hearts into the sky” – or anywhere at all.
This beautifully articulated history of American women who broke barriers to achieve an especially satisfying success is enhanced by clever, captivating halftone illustrations.
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Jeannine Atkins is the author of Mary Anning and the Sea Dragon, illustrated by Michael Dooling. She lives in western Massachusetts.
Dusan Petricic is the illustrator of The Longitude Prize by Joan Dash. He lives in Toronto, Ontario.
Grade 5-10-This excellent title gives a fascinating glimpse into the history of women who were pioneers in the field of aviation. It begins with Katharine Wright in 1903 (who knew Orville and Wilbur had a sister?) and ends with Commander Eileen Collins and the space shuttle in 1999. In between, readers meet some of the most interesting and gutsy women ever: Blanche Stuart Scott, Bessie Coleman, Amelia Earhart, Jackie Cochran, Ann Baumgartner, Jerrie Cobb, and Shannon Lucid, to name a few. Each chapter tells a story of one woman's courage and determination to pursue her dream. Many of the subjects did not survive, but they knew the risks and took them gladly. The writing is crisp and captivating, but filled with fabricated dialogue and thoughts "based on what the women wrote about themselves and what others said about them." The pen-and-ink drawings add an interesting and illuminating touch. Each section ends with additional information (in italics) about the progress of aviation and anecdotes about colorful figures of the times. Filled with a multitude of historical tidbits to satisfy armchair historians or pilots, this book may entice students to read more about these women and their role in aviation history.
Linda Wadleigh, Oconee County Middle School, Watkinsville, GA
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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