Accurate, deeply engrossing, and well-documented.

READ REVIEW

FLY GIRLS YOUNG READERS’ EDITION

HOW FIVE DARING WOMEN DEFIED ALL ODDS AND MADE AVIATION HISTORY

“Women are lacking in certain qualities that men possess,” an Oklahoma airline executive announced in the summer of 1929, as he demanded that female aviators give up flying.

Female aviators faced enormous odds in the early years of aviation. Determined to compete on an equal footing against men, they met resistance at every turn. Yet female fliers such as Louise McPhetridge Thaden, Ruth Nichols, Amelia Earhart, Florence Klingensmith, and Ruth Elder continued to compete, although they, like male fliers, often died trying. This group biography of these brave fliers also includes the stories of a few other young women whose tales—and lives, like Klingensmith’s, were cut short by airplane crashes. By following the women as a group, chronologically, rather than separating the biographies out individually, O’Brien also provides a fascinating look at the evolution of aviation—surely pushed forward through the groundbreaking efforts of women, as well as men. This effort thrillingly celebrates the giant steps forward that female aviators made for women’s equality in the years just after suffrage was achieved. In 1936, Louise Thaden and her co-pilot, Blanche Noyes, won the prestigious (and lucrative) Bendix Trophy for their coast-to-coast flight, beating out a highly qualified field of men and other women, gratifyingly defying most men’s expectations. The story begins in 1926, the year of Bessie Coleman’s death; its focus on these five white women elides the additional challenges faced by woman aviators of color.

Accurate, deeply engrossing, and well-documented. (Nonfiction. 11-18)

Pub Date: March 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-61842-9

Page Count: 320

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: March 4, 2019

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Suggest to able teen readers who already have the appropriate background knowledge.

EYE OF THE STORM

NASA, DRONES, AND THE RACE TO CRACK THE HURRICANE CODE

From the Scientists in the Field series

A high-altitude drone built for the Air Force is repurposed to investigate hurricane behavior in a NASA–sponsored project headquartered at Wallops Island, Virginia.

This latest title in a long-running series looks at cutting-edge meteorological research with implications for the billions of people around the world who live in the paths of tropical cyclones. Opening with a chapter about the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy in 2012, it goes on to explain hurricane formation and NASA’s Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel mission. Cherrix introduces the Global Hawk drone project and describes preparations for a sample flight over the intensifying Hurricane Edouard in 2014. Finally she shows how another tropical storm, the 1970 Bhola cyclone in the Indian Ocean, led to the creation of a new nation, Bangladesh. This is real science, which, as the author points out, takes time—time to amass and analyze data and then to submit and have it vetted before publication. But it doesn’t make for very compelling reading. Readers drawn in by the dramatic cover and opening description of a tragic teen death as a result of Hurricane Sandy may get bogged down in the scientific and engineering detail, which uses appropriate but unfamiliar technical terms and acronyms, defined in context but hard to remember. They may struggle to keep straight the many scientists involved.

Suggest to able teen readers who already have the appropriate background knowledge. (hurricane preparedness, glossary, chapter notes, index) (Nonfiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: April 25, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-544-41165-4

Page Count: 80

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: March 6, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2017

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Macy wheels out another significant and seldom explored chapter in women’s history.

MOTOR GIRLS

HOW WOMEN TOOK THE WHEEL AND DROVE BOLDLY INTO THE TWENTIETH CENTURY

Well-documented proof that, when it came to early automobiles, it wasn’t just men who took the wheel.

Despite relentlessly flashy page design that is more distracting than otherwise and a faint typeface sure to induce eyestrain, this companion to Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (2011) chronicles decided shifts in gender attitudes and expectations as it puts women (American women, mostly) behind the wheel in the first decades of the 20th century. Sidebar profiles and features, photos, advertisements, and clippings from contemporary magazines and newspapers festoon a revved-up narrative that is often set in angular blocks for added drama. Along with paying particular attention to women who went on the road to campaign for the vote and drove ambulances and other motor vehicles during World War I, Macy recounts notable speed and endurance races, and she introduces skilled drivers/mechanics such as Alice Ramsey and Joan Newton Cuneo. She also diversifies the predominantly white cast with nods to Madam C.J. Walker, her daughter, A’Lelia (both avid motorists), and the wartime Colored Women’s Motor Corps. An intro by Danica Patrick, checklists of “motoring milestones,” and an extended account of an 1895 race run and won by men do more for the page count than the overall story—but it’s nonetheless a story worth the telling.

Macy wheels out another significant and seldom explored chapter in women’s history. (index, statistics, source notes, annotated reading list) (Nonfiction. 11-14)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4263-2697-4

Page Count: 96

Publisher: National Geographic

Review Posted Online: Nov. 23, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2016

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