For Beverley Bass, the sky had no limits.
Bass always dreamed of taking to the skies. In her teens, she took flying lessons and earned her license. Her flights of fancy transcended recreational soaring, though: She yearned to be an airline pilot—when only men had that job. Undeterred, Bass continued training, earned more licenses, and took jobs male pilots turned down or left when better ones arose. Thanks to intelligence, determination, and skill, she developed solid experience and established an enviable reputation. Bass’ big breaks came when American Airlines hired her as a flight engineer, then promoted her to co-pilot. Her lifelong aspiration became a reality when she became the first woman ever to captain an American Airlines commercial airliner. More history-making achievements followed. Then came 9/11. Flying from Paris to Dallas, Bass’ jet was directed to Gander, Newfoundland, along with 37 other carriers, when U.S. airspace was closed after the twin towers fell. This is a soaring tale, told with verve by Bass herself together with Williams. The retro, cartoonish illustrations might seem at odds with the recent setting, but they succeed with this narrative, as they also evoke spirited enthusiasm. The artwork, starring a smiling, plucky white, blonde Bass, embraces people of color as well as of various ages, including among airline professionals; readers will notice graying and gray-haired individuals.
Inspiring and up, up, and away all the way. (biographical note) (Picture book/biography. 4-8)