WINGS AND ROCKETS by Jeannine Atkins

WINGS AND ROCKETS

The Story of Women in Air and Space
by & illustrated by
Age Range: 10 - 14
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Among the current proliferation of books about aviation due to the upcoming centennial (December 17, 2003) of the Wright brothers’ historic flight, here is one that finally focuses on women and their collective role and contributions. As the subtitle states, these stories profile ten women who challenged prejudices and rules, both written and unwritten, to take their place in the skies. The strength of this effort is the overall picture it composes as each chapter segues to the next, spinning a thread of continuity and mounting a history. The key word in the writing approach is “story,” as the author uses created dialogue to humanize these women, foreshortening the account and making each chapter almost anecdotal in style. Fifteen chapters are grouped into four parts: “Dreams and Beginnings” (Katharine Wright, Blanche Stuart Scott, Bessie Coleman); “First Women’s Cross-Country Air Race” (Amelia Earhart); “Friendships and War” (Jackie Cochran and WASPS); and “Women in Space.” Technically, Katharine Wright did not fly, but it’s appropriate to include her because her support enabled her brothers to do so. Serio-comic, half-tone illustrations match the breezy tone of the text. Back matter includes a two and a half page bibliography, six Web sites, a chronology of important years in women’s aviation, a brief description of 13 women by name, and an index. Atkins takes liberties with secondary details, but overall this narrative linear timeline emphasizes the significance of women as they pursued dreams, broke barriers, made headlines, and shaped aviation history proving that women could fly as well as men. (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: March 3rd, 2003
ISBN: 0-374-38450-9
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 2003




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