Higher, Steeper, Faster: The Daredevils Who Conquered the Skies
In prose as riveting as the developments it investigates, Goldstone (Drive!
) covers the history of early aviation up to 1915 in his first book for young readers. After grabbing attention with the crowd-thrilling stunts of Lincoln Beachey, “the greatest aviator America has ever seen,” Goldstone provides background on ballooning, parachutes, and gas-powered airships before launching into the main tale: the daredevils of flight’s first decade. As he chronicles limit-testing feats that astounded audiences, he points out that airplanes were not tested before they were flown in exhibitions and how radically airplanes changed in those early years: “By 1915, not one single feature of the original Wright Flyer [made famous by Orville Wright in his famous 1903 flight] remained in use.” Goldstone deftly combines captivating descriptions of the personalities—male and female—with discussion of the many improvements and ever-present hazards of early flying. Though questions about who actually built and repaired these fragile machines and how pilots were licensed aren’t addressed, Goldstone’s book enthralls. Archival photos, a timeline, and other appended materials are included. Ages 8–12. Agent: Charlie Olsen and Michael Carlisle, Inkwell Management. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/13/2017
Release date: 03/28/2017
Compact Disc - 978-1-4789-1953-7
Compact Disc - 978-1-4789-1956-8
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