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Daredevil: The Daring Life of Betty Skelton (with audio recording)
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Daredevil: The Daring Life of Betty Skelton (with audio recording)

by Meghan McCarthy
 

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A riveting picture book biography of Betty Skelton, aviation and auto racing pioneer, from award-winning author/illustrator Megan McCarthy. Includes audio!

In the 1930s most girls were happy playing with dolls. But one girl, Betty Skelton, liked playing with airplanes, watching them fly around outside, and even flying airplanes herself! She lived for an

Overview

A riveting picture book biography of Betty Skelton, aviation and auto racing pioneer, from award-winning author/illustrator Megan McCarthy. Includes audio!

In the 1930s most girls were happy playing with dolls. But one girl, Betty Skelton, liked playing with airplanes, watching them fly around outside, and even flying airplanes herself! She lived for an adventure—in the air, the water, and on land—and nothing could stop her, especially not being a girl.

When Betty Skelton was young there weren’t many women flying airplanes or racing cars, but she wouldn’t let that stop her. She was always ready to take on a challenge, and she loved to have fun. Beetty rode motorcycles, raced cars, jumped out of planes, and flew jets, helicoptors, gliders, and blimps. And by the time she was an adult, Betty was known in the press as the “First Lady of Firsts!”

This vibrantly illustrated picture book biography with audio reveals the exciting life of a brave pioneer who followed her dreams and showed the world that women can do anything!

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Sharon Salluzzo
In the early 1930s, Betty Skelton lived with her parents near a navy base in Pensacola, Florida where she watched the naval airplanes fly overhead. Her dream was to fly an airplane. She did so at the age of twelve (although it wasn't quite legal), and she flew solo at the age of sixteen. She became a stunt pilot and retired in the early 1950s. Betty wasn't finished with her daredevil lifestyle. She became a race car driver and broke the women's speed record. She became the first female boat jumper even though she couldn't swim. She was the first woman invited to train with the Mercury 7 astronauts. The upbeat, conversational writing style reflects Betty's derring-do attitude. She wasn't deterred when told women didn't do those things. She found other ways to fulfill her dreams. The cartoon-style illustrations make this child-friendly and inviting. McCarthy varies the illustrations, sometimes making them look like photos in an album (the Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah); sometimes adding smaller illustrations on the page (the astronaut tests, stunts on water skis); and sometimes just a wordless, double-page spread (Betty flying solo). This variation adds greatly to the reader's understanding of Betty's feelings and her accomplishments. The back matter includes Fun Facts, a Timeline, Betty Quotes, and a Selected Bibliography. This picture book biography informs the reader about a not-too-distant past when Betty was defying traditional gender roles. It is an excellent choice for readers. Reviewer: Sharon Salluzzo
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—This book has a terrific message for young girls about breaking barriers; unfortunately, essential information about Skelton is missing or incorrect. According to McCarthy, "At the age of twelve her father boosted her up, plopped her into a plane, and waved good-bye. Betty was flying by herself!" McCarthy notes that Skelton studied information she had requested from aircraft manufacturers (using the ruse of helping her dad buy a plane), but that obviously wasn't enough to qualify her to fly solo. The lack of a reference to the training she received from Ensign Kenneth Wright will leave young readers to think otherwise. McCarthy claims NASA blocked Skelton from flying with the Mercury 7, but she was never officially considered for inclusion on the crew. Skelton knew the invitation to undergo astronaut endurance tests was a publicity stunt, but McCarthy writes, "Previously only animals had gone into outer space. No man-or woman-had yet done so. This was Betty's chance!" In spirit, McCarthy's profile of Skelton is exciting, fun, and inspirational. However, like the trailblazing daredevil's planes and cars and boats, it speeds right past important facts as though they would detract from an amazing life when they most certainly wouldn't. McCarthy's familiar round-eyed renderings of her characters are endearing as always, and her palette, set in ample white space, is cheerful. But what could have been a great introduction to a fascinating thrill seeker sadly sacrifices accuracy for stylistic embellishment, and the resulting errors are too significant to overlook.—Alyson Low, Fayetteville Public Library, AR

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781442481886
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
Publication date:
06/04/2013
Sold by:
SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
48
Lexile:
AD640L (what's this?)
File size:
24 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Meghan McCarthy is the award-winning author and illustrator of many books for children, including Earmuffs for Everyone: How Chester Greenwood Became Known as the Inventor of Earmuffs; Daredevil: The Daring Life of Betty Skelton; Pop!: The Invention of Bubble Gum; City Hawk: The Story of Pale Male; and Seabiscuit the Wonder Horse. A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, she lives in Brooklyn, New York. Visit her at Meghan-McCarthy.com.

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