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Suspenseful, informative, and remarkably uplifting.

In August 1929, a talented group of female aviators spearheaded women’s rights when they participated in an all-woman nine-day, cross-country air race that kicked off in California.

Henry Ford had remarked, “I pay our women well so they can dress attractively and get married.” The women were fighting centuries of bias, but all of them were primarily interested in becoming successful fliers; changing the public’s opinion of women’s capabilities was a secondary outcome. Marvel Crosson, Amelia Earhart, Louise Thaden, Ruth Nichols, and others were among the 99 (nearly all white) licensed female pilots in 1929; the other 8,901 were men. Flying opportunities for women of color were even more sharply limited. (Only African American Bessie Coleman is mentioned in this account.) Sheinkin is a master at finding and following narrative hooks, as when he recounts the already highly controversial Women’s Air Derby, which became even more so when a pilot was killed in a crash that may have been caused by someone tampering with her plane. Although Sheinkin covers much of the same ground as Keith O’Brien’s Fly Girls (2019), this effort explores the 1929 race in detail, using that microcosm to reveal the lives of several of the early female fliers. Fascinating prose, a large number of period photographs augmented by Karman’s illustrations, and outstanding backmatter round out an engaging and enlightening presentation. Well-rounded collections should include both of these excellent resources.

Suspenseful, informative, and remarkably uplifting. (Nonfiction. 11-16)

Pub Date: Sept. 24, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-62672-130-2

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Review Posted Online: June 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019

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Intrepid explorer Lourie tackles the “Father of Waters,” the Mighty Mississippi, traveling by canoe, bicycle, foot, and car, 2,340 miles from the headwaters of the great river at the Canadian border to the river’s end in the Gulf of Mexico. As with his other “river titles” (Rio Grande, 1999, etc.), he intertwines history, quotes, and period photographs, interviews with people living on and around the river, personal observations, and contemporary photographs of his journey. He touches on the Native Americans—who still harvest wild rice on the Mississippi, and named the river—loggers, steamboats, Civil War battles, and sunken treasure. He stops to talk with a contemporary barge pilot, who tows jumbo-sized tank barges, or 30 barges carrying 45,000 tons of goods up and down and comments: “You think ‘river river river’ night and day for weeks on end.” Lourie describes the working waterway of locks and barges, oil refineries and diesel engines, and the more tranquil areas with heron and alligators, and cypress swamps. A personal travelogue, historical geography, and welcome introduction to the majestic river, past and present. (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2000

ISBN: 1-56397-756-7

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2000

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If Freedman wrote the history textbooks, we would have many more historians. Beginning with an engrossing description of the Boston Tea Party in 1773, he brings the reader the lives of the American colonists and the events leading up to the break with England. The narrative approach to history reads like a good story, yet Freedman tucks in the data that give depth to it. The inclusion of all the people who lived during those times and the roles they played, whether small or large are acknowledged with dignity. The story moves backwards from the Boston Tea Party to the beginning of the European settlement of what they called the New World, and then proceeds chronologically to the signing of the Declaration. “Your Rights and Mine” traces the influence of the document from its inception to the present ending with Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. The full text of the Declaration and a reproduction of the original are included. A chronology of events and an index are helpful to the young researcher. Another interesting feature is “Visiting the Declaration of Independence.” It contains a short review of what happened to the document in the years after it was written, a useful Web site, and a description of how it is displayed and protected today at the National Archives building in Washington, D.C. Illustrations from the period add interest and detail. An excellent addition to the American history collection and an engrossing read. (Nonfiction. 9-13)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-8234-1448-5

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2000

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