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WOMEN DAREDEVILS by Julie Cummins Kirkus Star

WOMEN DAREDEVILS

Thrills, Chills, and Frills

By Julie Cummins (Author) , Cheryl Harness (Illustrator)

Age Range: 8 - 11

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-525-47948-2
Publisher: Dutton

At a time when women were expected to be domestic angels, this spunky history tracks a handful of female risk-takers who dared to do what they loved despite the danger. Cummins profiles 14 women ranging in age from 15 to 63 who, between 1880 and 1929, performed death-defying acts guaranteed to generate thrills and chills and to challenge myths about the proper place of women. Rosa Richter performed as a human cannonball; Annie Taylor survived Niagara Falls in a wooden barrel; Mlle. D’Zizi and Gertrude Breton flew through space on their bicycles; and blindfolded May Wirth perfected a double backward somersault from one galloping horse to another. Mable Stark won raves as a tiger tamer. Gladys Roy and Gladys Ingle danced on biplane wings. Sonora Carver dove 60 feet into a water tank on the back of a horse. Cummins tells the stories of these and other female daredevils with panache, sensitive to their roles as the “extreme sport” reality-show stars of the day. Harness’s action-packed illustrations show each female daredevil performing in period costume and setting. Kudos for bringing to light this hidden slice of female history. (introduction, chronology, sources) (Nonfiction. 8-11)