Soar, Elinor! by Tami Lewis Brown, Francois Roca |, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Soar, Elinor!

Soar, Elinor!

by Tami Lewis Brown, Francois Roca
     
 

Elinor Smith was six when she first went for a ride in a rickety "flying machine," and she was just sixteen when she earned her aviation license in 1928. But not everyone thought that girls should fly. When male pilots and newspapermen mocked her, Elinor decided to perform an aerial maneuver they thought was impossible: flying under all four bridges that span

Overview

Elinor Smith was six when she first went for a ride in a rickety "flying machine," and she was just sixteen when she earned her aviation license in 1928. But not everyone thought that girls should fly. When male pilots and newspapermen mocked her, Elinor decided to perform an aerial maneuver they thought was impossible: flying under all four bridges that span New York City's East River. Gorgeous sweeping illustrations by François Roca show how Elinor pulled off this risky feat skillfully and with style.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Look out, Amelia Earhart. This underdog story features a lesser-known female pilot who gained eminence in the 1920s. At age 16, Elinor Smith became the youngest pilot in the U.S. But when newspapers belittled her accomplishment, she took a dare to fly under one of New York City's bridges--upping the ante by flying under four of them. Roca's clean, vivid oils set the bold shapes of Elinor's planes against sweeping backgrounds of pea-green airfields and hazy blue skies. Debut author Brown skillfully builds suspense as Elinor studies each bridge, plans her route, and takes flight, leading to a nail- biting conclusion. It's a stirring tale of determination and moxie. Ages 4–8. (Oct.)
From the Publisher

“François Roca's oil paintings capture [Elinor's] sunny determination as well as the lure of the wide skies and the open cockpit.” —The Washington Post

“Look out, Amelia Earhart. This underdog story features a lesser-known female pilot who gained eminence in the 1920s. At age 16, Elinor Smith became the youngest pilot in the U.S. But when newspapers belittled her accomplishment, she took a dare to fly under one of New York City's bridges–upping the ante by flying under four of them. . . It's a stirring tale of determination and moxie.” —Publishers Weekly, STARRED review

“Brown's prose is crystalline, lively and reads well aloud. Roca captures the air and sky beautifully…” —Kirkus Reviews

“This is an excellent introduction to a lesser-known but fascinating adventurer.” —School Library Journal

“Inspiration soars from every page.” —Booklist

School Library Journal
Gr 3–6—Everyone has heard of Amelia Earhart, but she was not the only young woman fascinated by flight in the early 1900s. Elinor Smith began talking flying lessons in 1921 when she was only 10 years old. At 16, she was the youngest person in the U.S., man or woman, to earn a pilot's license. The climax of this picture-book biography is when Smith achieved acclaim as the first person to fly a plane under all four of New York City's bridges. Unlike the stories of Amelia Earhart and Harriet Quimby, this book has a happy ending. Smith lived to a ripe old age, and, according to an endnote, much of the book is based on interviews the author had with her before she passed away in March 2010. Brown's narration is fluent, engaging, and full of dialogue. The page-long endnote explains her research and sources. Realistic oil illustrations are similar in style to those in Muhammad Ali, Champion of the World (Random, 2007). Roca uses minimal background detail and skillfully arranges scenes to focus attention on the emotions and faces of the characters while still maintaining historical and geographical accuracy. This is an excellent introduction to a lesser-known but fascinating adventurer.—Donna Cardon, Provo City Library, UT
Kirkus Reviews

Elinor Smith died in March 2010 at the age of 98, but not before she had shared memories and memorabilia with the author, a licensed private pilot, who, with controlled passion, tells the story of the girl who, at age six in 1917, begged her father to allow her a ride in a biplane over the potato fields of Long Island, N.Y. She began flying lessons at ten, was licensed at 16 and accepted, perhaps unwisely, a bet from an older male pilot who said she couldn't fly under one of New York City's East River bridges. She flew under all four, taking the Brooklyn Bridge sideways, banking vertically to get between a tanker and a Navy destroyer that were passing underneath. Although her flight was illegal, she won kudos from Mayor Jimmy Walker. In the 1950s, after raising her children, Elinor went back to flying. Brown's prose is crystalline, lively and reads well aloud. Roca captures the air and sky beautifully, although his figures and landscapes are rather static on the page—a minor flaw in an otherwise inspiring account. (author's note, sources) (Picture book/biography. 6-10)

Abby McGanney Nolan
François Roca's oil paintings capture [Elinor's] sunny determination as well as the lure of the wide skies and the open cockpit.
—The Washington Post

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780374371159
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
10/12/2010
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
40
Sales rank:
1,103,280
Product dimensions:
9.80(w) x 11.50(h) x 0.60(d)
Lexile:
AD780L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

TAMI LEWIS BROWN lives in Washington, D.C. Soar, Elinor! is her first book.

FRANÇOIS ROCA has illustrated many picture books, including Twenty-One Elephants and Still Standing by April Jones Prince and Muhammad Ali: Champion of the World by Jonah Winter. He lives and works outside Paris, France.

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