Books by Shelly Tanaka

Released: Oct. 1, 1993

Almost as long as the Eiffel Tower is tall, the Hindenburg would have dwarfed today's 747's; it offered majestic, rapid, very comfortable Atlantic crossings and traveled (with its sister airship the Graf Zeppelin) over two million miles before its fiery demise. Tanaka takes readers on that last voyage in the company of Irene Doehner, 16, and her family, touring crew stations and the moderately luxurious passenger accommodations, observing icebergs and whales from above, hearing conversations about the airship's structure and safety, and going from mild relief to panic as a calm landing is transformed into a blazing disaster. Though some scenes and dialogue are invented, all of the people here are based on actual crew members or passengers—poignantly, Irene was one of 13 who didn't survive—and the text is liberally illustrated with contemporary photos and paintings. The author opens with a look at the uses of airships today and closes with a summary of the post- tragedy investigation and a page on the history of lighter-than-air flight. A lively alternative to James Day's The Hindenburg Tragedy (1989). Glossary; reading list. (Nonfiction. 10-13) Read full book review >