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Wings and Rockets: The Story of Women in Air and Space

Overview

Celebrating the hundredth anniversary of powered flight

From Katharine Wright, sister of the Wright brothers, to Eileen Collins, the first woman commander of a spacecraft, scores of women have played critical roles in our country’s history of aviation. Wilbur and Orville Wright, who pioneered powered flight in 1903, knew how much they owed to Katharine. “When the world speaks of the Wrights,” said Orville, “they should not forget our sister.” ...

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Overview

Celebrating the hundredth anniversary of powered flight

From Katharine Wright, sister of the Wright brothers, to Eileen Collins, the first woman commander of a spacecraft, scores of women have played critical roles in our country’s history of aviation. Wilbur and Orville Wright, who pioneered powered flight in 1903, knew how much they owed to Katharine. “When the world speaks of the Wrights,” said Orville, “they should not forget our sister.” Although Katharine Wright was among the first women to ride in an airplane, Blanche Stuart Scott was the first to sit at the controls. To achieve her dream, Blanche overcame sexism and other obstacles. The same can be said of every woman whose piloting career is highlighted here – Bessie Coleman, Amelia Earhart, Jackie Cochran, Ann Baumgartner Carl, Jerrie Cobb, Shannon Wells Lucid, and others. Their stories are sure to fire the imaginations of readers and encourage them to “follow their hearts into the sky” – or anywhere at all.

This beautifully articulated history of American women who broke barriers to achieve an especially satisfying success is enhanced by clever, captivating halftone illustrations.

Tells the stories of women who have dared to challenge prejudices and rules to take their place in the skies--from Katherine Wright and Bessie Coleman to Jackie Cochran, Shannon Lucid, and Eileen Collins.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Probably the most remarkable thing about the women and girls whose stories fill these pages is that they all had dreams so far beyond those of their peers. They saw something in the skies that offered so much more, and they wouldn't take no for an answer. All too often we forget about the work of those who went before and who blazed the trails for us. This engrossing and very personal book helps us remember all those wonderful women who opened up the heavens for those of us who want to fly. What makes this particular book so successful is that many of the stories are told from the point of view of the principal characters. We feel the disappointments and the elations, the loss and the grief that those women felt. We hear their voices as clearly as if they were talking to us over the phone and it is this warm personal touch that makes this book work so well. At the end of each part of the book there is a historical section that gives the reader a sense of what happened after the events they just read about. Here you will find the answers to such questions as: What happened to Bessie Coleman? When did women get accepted into the Air Force officially? The author clearly has a deep felt admiration for these heroines of the skies. Her enthusiasm and appreciation for their historic achievements comes through loud and clear, which makes this book hard to put down. 2003, Farrar Straus and Giroux,
— Marya Jansen-Gruber
School Library Journal
Gr 5-10-This excellent title gives a fascinating glimpse into the history of women who were pioneers in the field of aviation. It begins with Katharine Wright in 1903 (who knew Orville and Wilbur had a sister?) and ends with Commander Eileen Collins and the space shuttle in 1999. In between, readers meet some of the most interesting and gutsy women ever: Blanche Stuart Scott, Bessie Coleman, Amelia Earhart, Jackie Cochran, Ann Baumgartner, Jerrie Cobb, and Shannon Lucid, to name a few. Each chapter tells a story of one woman's courage and determination to pursue her dream. Many of the subjects did not survive, but they knew the risks and took them gladly. The writing is crisp and captivating, but filled with fabricated dialogue and thoughts "based on what the women wrote about themselves and what others said about them." The pen-and-ink drawings add an interesting and illuminating touch. Each section ends with additional information (in italics) about the progress of aviation and anecdotes about colorful figures of the times. Filled with a multitude of historical tidbits to satisfy armchair historians or pilots, this book may entice students to read more about these women and their role in aviation history.-Linda Wadleigh, Oconee County Middle School, Watkinsville, GA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Among the current proliferation of books about aviation due to the upcoming centennial (December 17, 2003) of the Wright brothers' historic flight, here is one that finally focuses on women and their collective role and contributions. As the subtitle states, these stories profile ten women who challenged prejudices and rules, both written and unwritten, to take their place in the skies. The strength of this effort is the overall picture it composes as each chapter segues to the next, spinning a thread of continuity and mounting a history. The key word in the writing approach is "story," as the author uses created dialogue to humanize these women, foreshortening the account and making each chapter almost anecdotal in style. Fifteen chapters are grouped into four parts: "Dreams and Beginnings" (Katharine Wright, Blanche Stuart Scott, Bessie Coleman); "First Women's Cross-Country Air Race" (Amelia Earhart); "Friendships and War" (Jackie Cochran and WASPS); and "Women in Space." Technically, Katharine Wright did not fly, but it's appropriate to include her because her support enabled her brothers to do so. Serio-comic, half-tone illustrations match the breezy tone of the text. Back matter includes a two and a half page bibliography, six Web sites, a chronology of important years in women's aviation, a brief description of 13 women by name, and an index. Atkins takes liberties with secondary details, but overall this narrative linear timeline emphasizes the significance of women as they pursued dreams, broke barriers, made headlines, and shaped aviation history proving that women could fly as well as men. (Nonfiction. 10-14)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374384500
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 2/5/2003
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 208
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Jeannine Atkins is the author of Mary Anning and the Sea Dragon, illustrated by Michael Dooling. She lives in western Massachusetts.

Dusan Petricic is the illustrator of The Longitude Prize by Joan Dash. He lives in Toronto, Ontario.

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