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SKY SAILORS by David L. Bristow

SKY SAILORS

True Stories of the Balloon Era

By David L. Bristow

Age Range: 10 - 14

Pub Date: Sept. 28th, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-374-37014-5
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

This lively look at escapades of daring men--and a surprising number of women--who risked their lives flying in balloons will appeal to adventure, history and science buffs--and perhaps steampunk fans as well. Each of the nine chapters, which are chronologically arranged, focuses on an exciting story, starting with the first confirmed human balloon flight in 1783, which landed safely, and ending with Dolly Shepherd, a young British woman in the early 1900s who parachuted out of balloons, hanging onto a trapeze. It recounts longest flights and highest ones, flights across water and to far-off points, some of which ended in death. An accidental balloon flight in 1858 of an eight-year-old girl and her younger brother, both of whom survived the 13-hour journey, will especially intrigue readers and lends itself well to booktalking. The conversational narrative, which often refers to the adventurers’ childhoods, incorporates ample quotes and anecdotes as well as explanations of such topics as buoyancy, hydrogen and altitude sickness. Useful captions accompany the many full-color illustrations of artwork and photographs. (notes, bibliography) (Nonfiction. 10-14)