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Children's LiteratureThis reprint from another era of children's literature indicates how biography has changed. Here the Wright brothers, Orv and Will, chat about their doings, work out their dilemmas and challenges in dialog, and achieve their dreams. The author has embellished much of the incidents here with plausible extension and dialog. The Landmark series made their mark on a generation of readers because the formula worked: children wanted to read about the childhood of famous Americans and wanted fast-paced, and conversational, action. Now, biographers are held accountable for things like invented incidents, imagined thoughts, and creative dialog, and those who do not include source notes are considered unreliable. This entry is unchanged from the 1950s, with all that that date in the series implies. However, the new "Landmark Books" series has addressed this with recent books added to the series containing index, source notes, plus a purging of imagined dialog and incident. With all of the wonderfully illustrated and straightforward biographies of the Wright brothers available to today's readers, buyers ought to beware of this old one. What was good enough for us grandparents or parents is not necessarily the best for our children and grandchildren. 2003 (orig. 1950), Random House, Ages 8 to 12.
— Susan Hepler, Ph.D.