Born to Fly: The First Women's Air Race Across America

Born to Fly: The First Women's Air Race Across America


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Born to Fly is the gripping story of the fearless women pilots who aimed for the skies—and beyond.

Just nine years after American women finally got the right to vote, a group of trailblazers soared to new heights in the 1929 Air Derby, the first women's air race across the U.S. Follow the incredible lives of legend Amelia Earhart, who has captivated generations; Marvel Crosson, who built a plane before she even learned how to fly; Louise Thaden, who shattered jaw-dropping altitude records; and Elinor Smith, who at age seventeen made headlines when she flew under the Brooklyn Bridge.

These awe-inspiring stories culminate in a suspenseful, nail-biting race across the country that brings to life the glory and grit of the dangerous and thrilling early days of flying, expertly told by the master of nonfiction history for young readers, National Book Award finalist Steve Sheinkin.

Featuring illustrations by Bijou Karman.

This title has common core connections.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781626721302
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Publication date: 09/24/2019
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 89,630
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range: 10 - 14 Years

About the Author

Steve Sheinkin is the acclaimed author of fast-paced, cinematic nonfiction histories for young readers, including The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights, The Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism & Treachery, and Bomb: The Race to Build-and Steal-the World's Most Dangerous Weapon. His accolades include a Newbery Honor, three Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards, a Sibert Medal, and three National Book Award finalist honors. He lives in Saratoga Springs, New York, with his wife and two children.

Bijou Karman is an artist and illustrator from Los Angeles. She graduated with Distinction from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. Bijou is inspired by nostalgia and a love of print and bright colors. She spends most of her time working on illustrations for editorials, books, and advertising, but also works in gouache to create paintings centered around fashion. She has illustrated How to Dress by Alexandra Fullerton, What Would Boudicca Do? by E. Foley and B. Coates, and the covers of the Penguin Classics editions of books by John Steinbeck and Iris Murdoch.

Table of Contents

Born to Fly 1

Racing to the Sky 9

Golden Age 21

Dreams and Nightmares 33

Racing Across the Atlantic 45

Pushing Limits 57

Racing for Records 69

The Women's Air Derby 77

Why We Fly 90

Starting Line 102

San Bernardino 113

Troubles Begin 124

Marvel 135

Critics Attack 144

Across Texas 152

Back to Wichita 166

The Grind 177

Finish Line 190

Racing the Atlantic, the Sequel 203

Epilogue: The Race Goes On 212

Source Notes 229

Works Cited 255

Acknowledgments 261

Index 264

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Born to Fly: The First Women's Air Race Across America 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Suzanne Costner 16 days ago
I could probably stop at - Steve Sheinkin wrote this book - and anyone who has read one of his other works would know what to expect. Sheinkin always tells a full, rich story with tons of details he has learned in his meticulous research about the topic. This time he introduces all the women who participated in the 1929 Air Derby. The one most recognized today would be Amelia Earhart, but there were 20 women in that race across the country. Beginning with their childhood days and their early exploits (jumping off barn roofs, creating their own roller coaster, etc.) the author goes on to tell how each of them entered the field of aviation and make their way to the derby. Some came from working class families and fell in love with flying after seeing an air show or buying a 5 minute flight over a field near home. Others came from wealthy families and purchased flying lessons and a plane of their own without having to scrimp and save. Whatever their pasts, they all came together to prove that women had the endurance and skills to fly in a cross-country air race just as well as men. And despite the hardships, sabotage, and crashes along the way, they did just that. Sheinkin captures the determination and the inspiration of those amazing women, describing how they pressed on through hardships, mechanical failures, social pressures, and the loss of dear friends in fatal crashes. Anyone interested in aviation history, or especially in female pioneers in the field, will enjoy this book. It is written to be age-appropriate for 4th grade and up.
diversified-reader 21 days ago
The name that always come to mind when female aviators are mentioned is the famously known Amelia Earhart. However, there were many other female pilots who have made an impact in this field during the same era. Born to Fly-The First Women’s Air Race across America was a fascinating children’s nonfiction book about remarkable, but little known women pilots such as Louise McPhetridge, Ruth Elder, Marvel Crosson, Florence Lowe, Raymonde de Laroche, Harriet Quimby, Bessie Coleman(the first African American pilot in the United States), Elinor Smith (world’s youngest pilot-male or female)and Neta Snook (who taught Amelia Earhart how to fly). The author wrote in a language suited for this age group. He also engaged his audience with inspiring stories of courage and resiliency. Most importantly, the author gave voice to these women’s outstanding accomplishments so that all generations will remember their names and place in history. This was a thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining read. Highly recommended for readers of all ages and should definitely be included in school and classroom libraries.