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What an engrossing story. Born to Fly tells the story of the first women’s air race across America. The male aviators had them all the time, but the women wanted their own and so they got it! Steve Sheinkin tells a captivating story of these women, their lives and their dreams.
What I am Reviewing:
Born to Fly: The First Women’s Air Race Across America.
Bijou Karman (illustrator)
Roaring Brook Press.
trade paperback, ages 10-14, 288 pages
Reviewed for Raincoast Books.
Women Navigators, Women Aviators, American history, 1900’s, planes, aviation, biographies,
Born to Fly is the gripping story of the fearless women pilots who aimed for the skies – and beyond.
Just nine years after American women finally got the right to vote, a group of trailblazers soared to new heights in the 1929 Air Derby, the first women’s air race across the U.S. Follow the incredible lives of legend Amelia Earhart, who has captivated generations; Marvel Crosson, who built a plane before she even learned how to fly; Louise Thaden, who shattered jaw-dropping altitude records; and Elinor Smith, who at age seventeen made headlines when she flew under the Brooklyn Bridge.
These awe-inspiring stories culminate in a suspenseful, nail-biting rate across the country that brings to life the glory and grit of the dangerous and thrilling early days of flying, expertly told by the master of nonfiction history for young readers, National Book Award finalist Steve Sheinkin.
The Details about Born to Fly
This is such an interesting book. I’ve read a few women aviator books in the past such as Seized by the Sun. This story is about all the main women aviators of early 1900’s. We got to know the get-up-and-go of Louise, Ruth, Amelia, Marvel and more.
We learn of their determination to beat the odds, to do what they felt in their bones they needed to. They fought their way through.
Then came the race. Oh the race. The women were so excited.
Then came the threats “Beware of sabotage”. Things were done, things that hurt the women in this race. This was not good and rather worrying. I was caught up in the story and didn’t want these women hurt. … but YOU need to read the book to discover what happens. 🙂
Anyways, lots of pictures scatter the pages. I saw maps of their route, their planes, events they attended and more.
Some of the images were actual pictures from back in the day, others were simple pen or charcoal drawings. As this was an ARC copy not all of the images were complete but I would say 80% of the book had images on the page.
Written at a middle school level, the text was easily readable without dumbing the information down. Learning about spark plugs, wire struts, what oil in an engine can do and so forth. An informative helpful book, that I felt compelled to read through cover to cover.
I think most anyone would enjoy this book. It’s an interesting period of time between the wars. Women learning what they are capable of, men learning to give them room to explore. Some men learned more quickly than others which is to be expected in seasons of change. Born to Fly wasn’t just about that though.. it was about women doing what they loved. Persevering through tough times, setting a goal and making it happen, and still fulling duties (even if you didn’t want to).
Highly recommend you give it a boo, I think you will enjoy it as much as I did.
It would be an excellent book to read if doing a study on aviation, studying the period between the wars, looking into women’s increase presence in the work place, or wanting to study women of note.
Below you will find a film of the flight. It has no sound.