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Five brave women, defying the odds, take to the skies. Fly Girls by Keith O’Brien tells the story of five women in the aftermath of WW1 who took to the skies. Learn the stories of Amelia Earhart, Ruth Elder, Florence Klingensmith, Ruth Nichols and Louise Thaden. This is my review.
From the Cover
Between the world wars, no sport was more popular, or more dangerous, than airplane racing. While male pilots were lauded as heroes, the few women who dared to fly were more often ridiculed-until a cadre of women pilots banded together to break through the entrenched prejudice.
Fly Girls by Keith O’Brien weaves together the stories of five remarkable women: Florence Klingensmith, a high school dropout; Ruth Elder, a divorcee; Amelia Earhart, the most famous, but not necessarily the most skilled; Ruth Nichols, who chafed at her Wall Street family’s expectations; and Louise Thaden, who got her start selling coal in Wichita. Together, they fought for the chance to fly and race airplanes -and in 1936, one of them would triumph, beating the men in the toughest air race of them all.
Oh, I enjoyed reading this book. BUT I struggled with it. I thought it was going to be a book about five women aviators who fought to be allowed to race with men in airplane races. It wasn’t.
Instead, it spoke of the race to cross the ocean. Focusing, predominately on the failures, of men as well as women. A big yahoo to Charles Lindbergh, but the first four women were all failures.
I found it interesting that the story of Amelia Earhart didn’t include her solo flights, or her disappearance…but rather included a rather unflattering story. I was impressed that she wanted female pilots to be organized and worked toward that end. It was rather odd though, the story they focused on. They didn’t even mention her solo flight across the ocean. Just left me wondering why?
This 95-page book contains almost 30 pages of footnotes and source material links to help you learn even more about these remarkable women.
I think this book would be an excellent introduction to female aviators but not an ending book. This book whetted my appetite to learn more about these five women, but wasn’t satisfying in the end. I suspect that discerning upper elementary youth would have the same reaction.Click on image for Amazon Link.