It’s 1922—an exciting time in aviation.
During the previous decade, the world saw planes used in war for the first time. Many returning American war pilots now fly decommissioned training planes in barnstorming teams. These flying circuses are showing up across the country, and competition is fierce. The action takes off with white 18-year-old Grace Lafferty, the only female member of the Soaring Eagles, climbing out of a roadster going 50 miles an hour to grab hold of a ladder attached to a soaring plane. Money is tight, and Grace’s team—her family—is in danger of closing up shop and going their separate ways, so she’s entered them in the World Aviation Expo. This opportunity will be more than a performance; their future depends on winning the grand prize: a Hollywood contract with a steady paycheck. Bessie Coleman, the first black woman to receive a professional pilot’s license, is Grace’s hero and the book’s only character of color. Coleman gives Grace advice about being a woman in a field dominated by men. Action scenes play out with a cinematically breathtaking intensity; however, by comparison, scenes on the ground are slow, though intriguing.
Accented with such details as jazz, speak-easies, and period slang, it’s a gas. (author’s note) (Historical fiction. 14-18)