Brave Harriet: The First Woman to Fly the English Channel

Brave Harriet: The First Woman to Fly the English Channel

by Marissa Moss, C.F. Payne
     
 

On a clear morning in 1912, Harriet Quimby had a vision--she would become the first woman to fly solo across the English Channel. If she were to veer off course by even five miles, she could end up in the North Sea, never to be heard from again. But she took the risk, anyway.
Bestselling author Marissa Moss and award-winning artist C. F. Payne team up to tell

Overview


On a clear morning in 1912, Harriet Quimby had a vision--she would become the first woman to fly solo across the English Channel. If she were to veer off course by even five miles, she could end up in the North Sea, never to be heard from again. But she took the risk, anyway.
Bestselling author Marissa Moss and award-winning artist C. F. Payne team up to tell this little-known historic story of a spirited woman who dared to take flight.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The creators of True Heart once again laud a historical heroine with gentle restraint. Here they give pilot Harriet Quimby just the right note of quiet confidence: "I hadn't grown up wishing to be a pilot, because there were no planes when I was a girl, but once I saw one, I knew where I belonged there, at the controls, with blue sky all around me." Harriet wins her license from a skeptical board ("No woman has ever received a license to fly," a licensing official says), works as a barnstormer, then conceives the idea of crossing the English Channel. Her pilot friend Gustav Hamel tries to dissuade her, offering to fly for her in disguise; Harriet refuses. She completes her mission, but the sinking of the Titanic on the same day overshadows news of her success. "But it didn't matter, because I knew I had done it," she says. Payne's spreads resemble period photographs stop-action shots of wood-framed airplanes taken from striking angles, a newsboy reading the headlines about the Titanic and Harriet looking wistfully across the Channel, her skirt billowing in the wind. Pair this with Julie Cummins's Tomboy of the Air (Children's Forecasts, July 2) for a complete picture of the first women pilots. Ages 6-9. (Sept.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
In her own lively voice, Harriet Quimby conveys her excitement about airplanes and her eagerness to fly. At a time when no woman has ever become a licensed pilot, Harriet is flying in air shows. She then determines to be the first woman to fly solo across the English Channel. Despite the danger and attempts to discourage her, in April of 1912 she braves the elements and succeeds. Ironically, the news of her achievement is eclipsed by the sinking of the Titanic. Payne's single and double-page, fully developed, mixed media scenes describe the events with a naturalism that provides a convincing sense of history. His choice of perspectives adds significantly to the feeling of flying, to the sense of romance experienced by Harriet. A note adds many facts about her life beyond the flight itself. 2001, Silver Whistle/Harcourt, $16.00. Ages 6 to 9. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
Newspaper reporter Harriet Quimby, the first American woman to receive her pilot's license, found great joy in the sky. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
As they did in True Heart (1999), Moss and Payne have produced a vivid story, with equally vibrant illustrations, inspired by a historical event. Harriet Quimby was the first woman to fly alone across the English Channel, a feat that went all but unnoticed because it took place on April 16, 1912-the day the Titanic sank. Quimby was already a newspaper reporter, and she became the first American woman to receive a pilot's license. Told in the first person, much of the description of her brief, cold, and daring flight across the Channel is taken from her own account of it for the New York Herald. Moss weaves a rich tapestry of description for Quimby's story, full of heightened but crystalline language describing the desire to fly, and the fulfillment of that desire. Payne's illustrations have wonderful heft and texture and just the right period feel. Details of the "aeroplane" and of the characters' gesture and dress are done with wit and grace. Aviator Gustav Hamel's lame-brained plot to impersonate Harriet is straightfowardly presented in the text but with no attempt to hide its foolish sexism. (author's note) (Picture book/biography. 7-10)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780152023805
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
09/28/2001
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
503,840
Product dimensions:
8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.37(d)
Lexile:
810L (what's this?)
Age Range:
6 - 9 Years

Meet the Author


MARISSA MOSS is best known for her handwritten illustrated journals, including the enormously popular Amelia series. She lives in Berkeley, California.

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