Ruth Law Thrills a Nation

Ruth Law Thrills a Nation

by Don Brown
     
 

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In 1916 a young woman named Ruth Law attempted to fly from Chicago to New York City in one day--something no one else had ever done. This is the story of that daring attempt. Beautifully detailed watercolors dramatize a dangerous journey made by the pilot President Woodrow Wilson called "great." Full-color illustrations.

Overview

In 1916 a young woman named Ruth Law attempted to fly from Chicago to New York City in one day--something no one else had ever done. This is the story of that daring attempt. Beautifully detailed watercolors dramatize a dangerous journey made by the pilot President Woodrow Wilson called "great." Full-color illustrations.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Brown soars in his children's book debut with this true story of a little-known heroine. In 1916 Ruth Law set an American record by flying cross-country nonstop for 590 miles. She had hoped to pilot her small plane all the way from Chicago to New York City in a single day (she ended up spending the night in Binghamton), but hers was nevertheless a remarkable accomplishment--the extraordinary nature of which Brown recreates for his audience with a host of riveting details. To accustom herself to the cold weather (she flew an open-cockpit plane), Law spent the night before her flight in a tent on the roof of a Chicago hotel; she wore two woolen suits and two leather suits, but ``covered her bulky outfit with a skirt. In 1916, a polite lady always wore a skirt.'' She flew a tiny, old plane because the manufacturer refused to sell her a newer, bigger model (he ``did not believe a woman could fly a large plane''); to set her course, she relied on maps she had taped together and attached to her leg; forced to land in a field, she secured her plane overnight by tying it to a tree. As the author points out, the pilot who broke Law's record a year later was also a woman. Brown's full-page, pen-and-ink and watercolor pictures feature striking amalgams of variegated blue and purple hues; like the text they convey the drama of Law's feat. Ages 4-7. (Aug.)
Children's Literature - Beverly Kobrin
In 1916, eleven years before Lindbergh's trans-Atlantic flight, Ruth Law attempted the first one-day Chicago/New York City flight. Because she had to use a small biplane-the manufacturer of larger airplanes didn't believe a woman could fly them-she didn't achieve her goal. Ms. Law did set an American nonstop cross-country flying record of 590 miles, however. In author/artist Don Brown's simply written, lighthearted account of an historical anecdote, Ruth Law Thrills a Nation young readers and their older siblings will meet another of the women absent from most aviation histories.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-This picture-book presentation of the exploits of a little-known figure in aviation history introduces a new heroine to young adventure fans. Brown's enthusiasm for and knowledge of his subject are clearly evident, and he includes several fascinating details in his brief account of Law's record-breaking feat of flying nonstop from Chicago to New York (590 miles). He makes oblique reference to the strictures on women's behavior at the time (``In 1916, a polite lady always wore a skirt''), but youngsters may need additional historical background to truly understand the enormity of Law's achievement. His scratchy cartoon-style illustrations with lovely watercolor washes are somewhat reminiscent of Tony Ross's work and convey both witty humor and poignant determination. While this early aviatrix may not be as well known as Amelia Earhart and others, her story will be enjoyed by primary-grade readers and provide them with an intriguing glimpse at a bygone era.-Lisa Dennis, The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
Janice Del Negro
In 1916, aviatrix Ruth Law daringly tried to fly from Chicago to New York City in one day. She did not succeed (she landed outside Binghampton, New York), but she broke a nonstop cross-country flying record. Using a simple text and effective watercolors, Brown successfully re-creates the remarkable flying feat. He sets Law in her historical context with humor and precision, describing her wearing a skirt over her flying clothes because "a polite lady always wore a skirt," and later, in the cockpit of her plane, removing it as "good sense defeated fashion." The liner notes tell us Brown drew on newspaper articles of the day, some of which contained Law's own words, but no sources are given. Nor has Brown included any suggestions for further reading. Such omissions aside, this is still effective nonfiction for primary-graders, with an accessible text accompanied by pleasantly supportive visual depictions of events.
From the Publisher

"This picture-book presentation of the exploits of a little-known figure in aviation history introduces a new heroine to young adventure fans. Brown's enthusiasm for and knowledge of his subject are clearly evident, and he includes several fascinating details in his brief account of Law's record-breaking feat of flying nonstop from Chicago to New York . . . An intriguing glimpse at a bygone era." School Library Journal

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780547349008
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
11/11/1995
Sold by:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
32
File size:
20 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Don Brown is the award-winning author and illustrator of many picture book biographies. He has been widely praised for his resonant storytelling and his delicate watercolor paintings that evoke the excitement, humor, pain, and joy of lives lived with passion. School Library Journal has called him "a current pacesetter who has put the finishing touches on the standards for storyographies." He lives in New York with his family.

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