Exceptional.

READ REVIEW

SKYWARD

THE STORY OF FEMALE PILOTS IN WWII

This account of women aviators during World War II is distinctive for its presentation.

This tribute to women in flight traces the dreams of three fictional, representative girls—an American woman named Hazel, an Englishwoman named Marlene, and a Russian woman named Lilya—who pursue their passion for flying against many odds. Aptly labeled “creative nonfiction,” the narrative focuses on the spirits and determination of the women and less so on plain facts. Each struggles against many inequities of gender bias, especially American and British regulations that hold women back from combat even though they have received the same training the men do—Lilya, on the other hand, is part of an all-female Soviet combat regiment. The design elements make the book soar: a larger-than-usual format, airy wash illustrations, and page composition that flows from spot art to one- and two-page spreads. Especially effective are the pages of multiple small images detailing the women in various phases of daily life. Even the paper quality stands out. This homage to the historic efforts of women determined to fly is a special addition to women’s studies that provides an unusual context and somewhat communal point of view based on actual events. While there are numerous adult and older reader titles on the subject, there are few for a younger age group.

Exceptional. (author’s note, bibliography) (Historical fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-911171-88-1

Page Count: 88

Publisher: Flying Eye Books

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2018

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Visually attractive but cursory.

GREAT STREETS OF THE WORLD

FROM LONDON TO SAN FRANCISCO

Readers are invited to wander Regent Street in London, La Rambla in Barcelona, Rynok Square in Lviv, Ukraine, and Hàng Bac in Hanoi, among others.

A well-traveled adult or even an armchair traveler may appreciate the lively sketches, emphasizing the architecture, transportation, and crowds in these busy urban sites. Will children? Perhaps not, despite the inclusion of some unusual global locales, such as the Rue de Bougounni, a large marketplace in Bamako, Mali, and Hatogaya, in Shirakawa, Japan, a historic street with “sloping, thatched roofs [that] prevent snow from piling up on top of the houses.” A few children are pictured having fun: Two kids play soccer in the Calleja de las Flores in Córdoba, Spain, and two other children make a snowman in the Japanese spread. Other kids are depicted walking alongside adults. The facts accompanying the illustrations are sometimes inadequate. The Anne Frank House receives prominent mention in the paragraph about Amsterdam’s Prinsengracht, but it’s impossible to tell whether it’s in the picture. The text about Calle 3 in Medellín, Colombia, mentions that “ten years ago, its residents barely dared to go outside” due to “the constant clashes between the army and drug gangs.” Without a specific year, the reference will be meaningless in the future. There is no map showing the various cities, nor any resources for readers motivated to learn more.

Visually attractive but cursory. (Informational picture book. 8-11)

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-3-7913-7403-1

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Prestel

Review Posted Online: Aug. 26, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2019

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AMELIA LOST

THE LIFE AND DISAPPEARANCE OF AMELIA EARHART

The most intriguing part of Amelia Earhart’s life is often thought to be the way it ended. A mysterious disappearance and an unsolved rescue mission is a powerful story on its own. But Fleming digs deeper and shows readers why everyone—from young girls who looked up to her to the First Lady of the United States—cared so much for this daring woman pilot. Chapters alternate between the days surrounding Earhart’s fateful crash and her growth from child to trailblazer. The narrative shifts could have been maddening, for suspense reasons alone, but a rhythm is established and the two plotlines gracefully fold into the conclusion. The author also astutely reminds readers that Earhart had a public image to uphold and “took an active role in mythologizing her own life,” so even excerpts from Earhart’s published works can never be completely trusted. Handwritten notes, photos, maps and inquisitive sidebars (What did Earhart eat during flight? Tomato juice and chocolate) complete this impeccably researched, appealing package. A stunning look at an equally stunning lady. (bibliography, Internet resources, source notes, index) (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Feb. 8, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-375-84198-9

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Schwartz & Wade/Random

Review Posted Online: Dec. 30, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2011

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