This collective biography profiles 26 women aviators from 1910 up to today.
Most of the names will be unfamiliar with a few exceptions, among them Amelia Earhart, Beryl Markham and Bessie Coleman. The women are grouped into five time frames, providing context that defines the struggles, both physical and societal, that they faced as pilots. The book follows the format of others in the Women of Action series: Each minibio opens with a paragraph about its subject’s accomplishment followed by a few, just-the-facts-ma’am pages about her life, a sidebar of relevant information and one photo, ending with a short bibliography. The 20 additional pages of backmatter that cite resources are indicative of the academic approach and the perfunctory writing style. While there is a hangar full of information here, the black-and-white interior (only the cover is in color) lacks reader appeal. Jeannine Atkins and Dusan Petricic’s Wings and Rockets: The Story of Women in Air and Space (2003) has a bit more energy.
Overall, a sensible if staid survey; its strength is in its breadth. (notes, glossary, bibliography, index [not seen]) (Collective biography. 12 & up)