Another picture-book biography of women pilots who made aviation records lines up on the runway.
At 7, Jerrie Mock declared she was going to be a pilot and fly the skies. And she did. Joan Merriam Smith was inspired by a plane ride at age 15. Both young white women had the same idol and same goal: to follow Amelia Earhart’s route to fly around the world. Unbeknownst to each other, they each spent months eagerly making flight plans and studying weather reports. But weeks before their takeoffs, coincidentally scheduled on the same day, their plans almost crashed. News broke that two women had decided to fly around the world at the same time! What should they do? Turn the event into a race, of course. Numerous obstacles had to be overcome, but at the end, it was Jerrie who won the race. The straightforward narrative highlights the passion and determination of these two unknown women who broke barriers and achieved their dreams. Tidbits, such as the fact that each had a good-luck charm, add human interest. Softly colored illustrations realistically paint the scenes, but the pastel palette seems too demure for profiling these two gutsy women.
Although young readers will not already know the names of these women nor the significance of their achievements in flying history, this visual chronicle can serve as an introduction to the era. (author’s note, maps, bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 6-10)