|Race through the skies : the week the world learned to fly|
Author: Sandler, Martin W.
A look at the week in 1909 when the public gathered to witness an international airplane gathering that would change the world.
Kirkus Reviews (05/01/20)
School Library Journal (06/01/20)
The Hornbook (00/07/20)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 05/01/2020 While many books about aviation celebrate heroic aviators and their daring achievements, Sandler focuses on the week that introduced aviation to the world. The National Book Award–winning author opens with a chapter that explains how the Wright Brothers’ first-flight fame was actually questioned at the time and how it took Wilbur Wright’s demonstrations in France in 1908 to help solidify their reputation. The detailed text further describes how Wright’s visit and Louis Blériot’s flight across the English Channel gave France’s champagne-making companies the idea to host prize-winning competitions during the Great Aviation Week in Rheims, France, in 1909. Subsequent chapters highlight each day’s adventurous competitors, spectacular events, near-deadly misses, and mounting audience enthusiasm. Most notable is the plethora of archival photographs that bring the text to life. Throughout the book and in a concluding chapter, Sandler emphasizes the impact of this monumental week on the future of aviation, including women aviators, air shows in the United States, and more famous flights. Brief summaries of the aviators’ lives after the competition complete this fascinating history. - Copyright 2020 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 06/01/2020 Gr 6–10—Sandler's historical overview of aviation focuses on a weeklong air show in the fall of 1908 in Reims, France. The events featured thrilling contests for speed and distance and hosted many of the prominent aviators and aircraft builders of the day, including fierce competition between the American flight pioneer Glenn Curtiss and Frenchman Louis Blériot, the first person to fly across the English Channel. A common theme throughout is the extreme risk for early pilots, such as Peruvian aviator Jorge Chávez, the first person to fly across the Alps, who crashed on descent and died from his injuries. Numerous supplemental texts highlight tangential topics (the design differences between biplanes and single-wing aircraft, the evolution of dirigibles during the same time, and "Women in the Air," spotlighting pilots such as Bessie Coleman, the first Black and Native American woman to earn her pilot's license). Copious period photos are integrated cleanly with the text and design. Additional illustrations include newspaper pages and promotional posters. Back matter contains a list of related books, websites, and places to visit, such as the Glenn H. Curtiss Museum in Hammondsport, NY. No source notes are included, but a bibliography and an annotated list of significant sources are included. VERDICT The topic doesn't fall easily into categories and might require hand selling, but this captivating nonfiction read will appeal to anyone interested in the history of flight, inventions, or thrill sports.—Bob Hassett, Luther Jackson M.S., Falls Church, VA - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.