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Children's Literature"The Story of Flight" series celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Wright Brothers' first flight and presents the history of aviation. Full-color illustrations and photographs show aviation's greatest moments, famous pilots, and numerous aircraft. This entry deals with the many triumphs of airplanes and their pilots, such as barnstormers (with a vignette of American Bessie Coleman), Lindberg's first transatlantic flight, the mail planes of the desert, going over the poles, a famous plane race from Mindenhall, England, to Melbourne, Australia, flying over Mt. Everest, and the first around-the-world flights. Three famous women fliers are profiled, Amy Johnson, Jean Batten, and Amelia Earhart. Numerous small pictures with accompanying text break up the pages and encourage browsing and scanning. Each volume ends with a spotters' guide showing a series of relevant planes and listing their specs, such as country of origin, description, length, wingspan, and speed that invites readers to compare planes and their usage. An index and glossary, but no Web sites, are included. This series is bound to appeal to boy readers and its format encourages less able readers to dip in, as well. For those interested in barnstorming, don't miss Nikki Grimes' Talkin'about Bessie: The Story of Aviator Elizabeth Coleman (Orchard, 2003). 2003, Crabtree Publishing Company, Ages 9 to 14.
— Susan Hepler, Ph.D.