written by Tami Lewis Brown, pictures by Francois Roca
Farrar Straus Giroux, 2010
Reviewed from purchased copy for Beehive Book Awards.
BLURB: Elinor Smith was six
when she first went for a ride in a rickety "flying machine," and she
was just sixteen when she earned her aviation license in 1928. But not
everyone thought that girls should fly. When male pilots and
newspapermen mocked her, Elinor decided to perform an aerial maneuver
they thought was impossible: flying under all four bridges that span New
York City's East River. Gorgeous sweeping illustrations by François
Roca show how Elinor pulled off this risky feat skillfully and with
I really enjoyed this book. The combination of gorgeous illustrations and great text pair nicely in this title. I am also a big fan of books about people following their dreams and passions. I appreciated how Elinor's parents encouraged her in her dreams despite their unconventional nature. And one can't help but admire Elinor's courage and spunk in proving to herself and the world that women pilots were just as good as men. The longer text does make it more appropriate for older children, but the topic makes for a great sharing book. The topic would fit beautifully into discussions of American or women's history. The information at the end about the interviews with the real Elinor and the photographs are a great addition. I appreciated that the author went right to the source for her information (she interviewed Elinor herself). I highly recommend this book for curricular or personal use. The story can be enjoyed by anyone who appreciates courage and determination as well as the power of dreams.
Head on over to Shelf-Employed for today's Nonfiction Monday. You'll find some great nonfiction highlighted.