Monday, January 23, 2012

Nonfiction Monday: Soar, Elinor! by Tami Lewis Brown

Soar, Elinor!
written by Tami Lewis Brown, pictures by Francois Roca
Farrar Straus Giroux, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-374-37115-9
Grades 2-5
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 Fran├žois Roca show how Elinor pulled off this risky feat skillfully and with style.

 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.


  1. Thank you for featuring this one. I am growing my non-fiction reading list so will be sure to add this one!

  2. My daughter is Eleanor, so this would have been great for her picture book collection when she was younger! Picture books are often so tempting, but my middle school doesn't need any more!


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