These two short biographies from the Women Adventurers series, which address sixteenth- to twentieth-century female pirates and female aviators dating as far back as 1903, engage and invigorate readers interested in avant-garde women's tales of derring-do. Historical time lines following pirate's stories set the stage of world history, while maps excite readers' adventurous spirits and paintings of full-sailed ships evoke the dangers of the seas. Source quotes with archaic language call forth the times of each setting. Every pirate's story compels page-turning immersion sure to engross reluctant readers, and Web sites listed in the back matter offer such gems as pirate maps and flags, as well as audio and video clips related to pirating, including a clip about teenage pirates in Blackbeard's day and lessons in how to "talk like a pirate." Among the women profiled are Alfhild, Grace O'Malley, Lady Killigrew, Maria Cobham, and Mary Read. Likewise, the aviatrixes' stories are each accompanied by time lines of the women's lives, and old photographs depict the actual women pilots. Biplanes, open-air cockpits, and women wearing trailing scarves and panted flying suits provoke reader excitement. Web sites promote women in aviation and flight in general. In addition to Amelia Earhart, the book includes eight more compelling biographies of Ruth Nichols, Louise Thaden, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, and Jacqueline Cochran, among others. These well-written and well-documented titles are worthy of classrooms studying women, adventurers, biographies, pirating, or aviation, and should be in libraries serving teen and young adult readers. A third book in this series profiles botanist Ynes Mexia.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-8-This thoughtful collection captures the true spirit and strength of 20th-century women who, despite the odds against them, pursued their intellectual curiosity and became known as "Women of the Wind." Breaking down the historical gender barriers, these pioneers triumphed over diversity and tragedy while fighting the commonly held notion that women could not, or should not, be allowed to fly. The aviators featured are Harriet Quimby, Katherine Stinson, Ruth Law, Bessie Coleman, Amelia Earhart, Ruth Nichols, Louise Thaden, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, and Jackie Cochran. Archival photographs and reproductions appear throughout, as well as time lines that allow readers to keep track of each pilot's mission, milestones, and sometimes tragic demise. An extensive bibliography, including Web sites, makes for a comprehensive treatment of a topic that motivates as well as intrigues modern readers.-Hope Marie Cook, Eastern Connecticut State University, Willimantic Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Recent attention paid to pioneer women pilots, long overdue, has produced both individual and collective biographies; this salute to their enterprising spirits flies above the rest. The opening line, "Harriet Quimby started something," sets the tone as lively, readable text profiles nine women: Quimby, Katherine Stinson, Ruth Law, Bessie Coleman, Amelia Earhart, Ruth Nichols, Louise Thaden, Anne Morrow Lindbergh and Jacqueline Cochran. A chapter for each details their achievements, the obstacles they overcame and how they lived their lives at full throttle; especially useful is a blocked Timeline for each. Archival photographs, both black-and-white and colorized, put a face on these women, enhancing an attractive format-quality paper, clean type, generous white space. Related in chronological order, their stories provide documentation of their contributions, create a context and continuum and delineate the determination of women aviators who proved the skies were open to women, where they made definitive differences in history. (sources, bibliography, websites, index) (Biography. 9-14)