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Good-Bye, Charles Lindbergh

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In 1927, pilot Charles Lindbergh made his famous flight between New York and Paris. After that he had many more journeys, and met many people on the way. This is the story of one such flight, when a young boy had the good fortune of meeting Charles Lindbergh in a field in Mississippi.

In her narrative, Borden beautifully recreates the excitement and awe that was felt by Harold Gilpin — upon whose character the fictional young Gil Wickstrom is...

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Overview


In 1927, pilot Charles Lindbergh made his famous flight between New York and Paris. After that he had many more journeys, and met many people on the way. This is the story of one such flight, when a young boy had the good fortune of meeting Charles Lindbergh in a field in Mississippi.

In her narrative, Borden beautifully recreates the excitement and awe that was felt by Harold Gilpin — upon whose character the fictional young Gil Wickstrom is based — when he met the renowned aviator in 1929.

A farm boy meets his hero, Colonel Charles Lindbergh, when he lands his bi-plane in a field near Canton, Mississippi, in 1929.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
"In 1929, on an ordinary day, in a Mississippi field, something big happened," begins this promising if not fully achieved picture book based on a real-life farm boy's chance encounter with Charles Lindbergh. Borden (Paperboy; The Little Ships) sets the scene convincingly as young Gil rides across the field bareback (he doesn't use the saddle, "because... it was a Kentucky saddle. And Kentucky saddles were for old men"), catches sight of a biplane and races for its likely landing area. The pilot turns out to be Lindbergh, whom Gil and other neighbors recognize from newspaper photos. A preliminary author's note has explained that Lindbergh was traveling from Mexico to New York City to attend a funeral; in the story, everyone is too awed and respectful to ask where he is going or where he has been. Instead, they warn him of an impending storm, and next morning they help free his plane from the resulting "ankle-deep" mud. Some readers may need help appreciating the significance of the transatlantic trip that built Lindbergh's astonishing fame, but the details about the flight here are enough to sustain their interest. Allen's (A Place Called Freedom) low-contrast colored-pencil art, however, has a wispiness that wraps the story in nostalgia, distancing the audience from the action. In the end, readers will understand why the incident is "something big" to Gil, but they are unlikely to share his excitement. Ages 5-9. (Apr.)
From The Critics
Charles Lindbergh flew all over the country before airports were numerous, often landing in farmer's fields. Based on the true story of one such landing, this nice picture book describes the indelible memory Lindbergh's appearance etched on one young boy's mind. Superb color pencil drawings illustrate the text. An excellent gift choice. 2001, Aladdin Books, $5.99. Ages 5 to 10. Reviewer: A. Braga SOURCE: Parent Council, September 2001 (Vol. 9, No. 1)
Children's Literature - Dianne Ochiltree
This picture book is based on a true story of a boy who has an exciting-and completely unexpected-encounter with one of his heroes: Charles Lindbergh, the aviation pioneer famous for his solo flight across the Atlantic in 1927. We all know that Lindbergh landed amid fanfare in Paris at the end of that journey. But how many of us have ever heard about the rainy night in the spring of 1929 when he set his biplane down in a field near Canton, Mississippi? Lindbergh often landed in out-of-the-way places for the night in those days to avoid admiring throngs of well-wishers. But this time, one boy-Gil-was there to see it happen, just as he was headed home on his white mare, Princess. His moments with the great Colonel Lindbergh gave the boy a memory to last a lifetime. Author Louise Borden met with Harold Gilpin (Gil) when he was eighty-three years old and he shared with her all the details of this glorious boyhood adventure. This book captures the essence of an era when aviation was young and youngsters everywhere dreamed of someday flying themselves. The full-colored illustrations, rendered in pencil, have a dreamlike quality that suits this historical picture book perfectly.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3In the spring of 1929, Harold Rea Gilpin, a young Mississippi farm boy, had the thrill of his life when the legendary Colonel Charles Lindbergh actually landed his plane near Harold's father's farm and spent the night in the pasture. Named Gil Wickstrom in this fictionalized version of the incident, the boy is riding an old white mare when he hears the sound of a plane overhead and follows it to the field where a crowd of neighbors has gathered to see this rarity. The tall, taciturn pilot sets up a pup tent under the wing of his plane for the night. He speaks little but admires Gil's horse. In the morning, the boy returns to help hold the Curtiss Falcon down until Lindbergh is ready for takeoff, and then waves his cap in farewell as the plane banks away to the east. The wonder and excitement of meeting a hero and actually touching an airplane is well portrayed in a conversational, colorful text, which should give today's children some sense of how life has changed since the time of their great-grandparents' youth. The full-page, colored-pencil illustrations are soft, muted, and misty, reflecting the ambiance of a moist Mississippi springtime and the dreamy magic of a young boy's experience, yet have a feeling of melancholy.Patricia Pearl Dole, formerly at First Presbyterian School, Martinsville, VA
Kirkus Reviews
If little stories combine to make up history, then this small tale contributes to the legacy of Charles Lindbergh. Borden (The Little Ships, 1997, etc.) captures the memories of Harold Gilpin (now 80 years old), who, as a child, met the famed aviator. Lindbergh had landed his plane in a Mississippi farmer's field to avoid fans; Harold (Gil Wickstrom in this version) stumbled upon the plane while out riding. The neighbors offered to put Lindbergh up, but he preferred to spend the night in his tent, hoping to avoid publicity. The next morning, Gil and his sister took breakfast to Lindbergh. The lyric style and muted pastel drawings heighten the book's nostalgic mood, for it is far more atmosphere than story; as in the tales that grandparents pass on to their loved ones, this one has the tenor of a personal remembrance that also brings history to life. (Picture book. 5-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689842252
  • Publisher: Aladdin
  • Publication date: 5/1/2001
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 5 - 9 Years
  • Lexile: 640L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.03 (w) x 10.02 (h) x 0.20 (d)

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