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TOMBOY OF THE AIR by Julie Cummins

TOMBOY OF THE AIR

Daredevil Pilot Blanche Stuart Scott

By Julie Cummins

Age Range: 8 - 14

Pub Date: July 31st, 2001
ISBN: 0-06-029138-9
Publisher: HarperCollins

An entertaining and intelligent biography of a pioneering woman aviator. When Blanche Stuart Scott wrecked her seventh bicycle, her father swore he wouldn’t buy her another one—so he bought her a Cadillac instead. The year was 1902 and Blanche was 13. Cummins (The Inside-Outside Book of Libraries, 1996, etc.) opens with this anecdote and goes on to spin the tale of a fiercely competitive—and virtually fearless—woman who first drove a car across the country and then went on to become the first woman in the US to fly an airplane. Billed as “The Tomboy of the Air,” Scott flew with the best of the men in aerial circuses and was also intensely involved in the testing of the rapidly developing airplane technology. Illustrated with archival photos and sprinkled liberally with quotes from Scott’s own (unpublished) memoir, this slim, efficient volume provides an overview of the early, almost lawless days of aviation, when crowds assembled at barnstorming events in the gruesome hopes of a crash or two. Throughout, Scott emerges as a woman not to be deterred from her goals, despite the nearly overwhelming social pressures to assume the conventional upper-class woman’s role as wife and bridge-player. Thoroughly researched and solidly written, the simplicity of the text and the inviting format should appeal to middle-grade as well as older readers. (notes, chronology, bibliography, index) (Biography. 8-14)