Soar, Elinor!

Tami Lewis Brown, Author, Francois Roca, Author, Francois Roca, Illustrator
Tami Lewis Brown, illus. by François Roca, Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-374-37115-9
Reviewed on: 10/11/2010
Release date: 10/01/2010
Look out, Amelia Earhart. This underdog story features a lesser-known female pilot who gained eminence in the 1920s. At age 16, Elinor Smith became the youngest pilot in the U.S. But when newspapers belittled her accomplishment, she took a dare to fly under one of New York City's bridges—upping the ante by flying under four of them. Roca's clean, vivid oils set the bold shapes of Elinor's planes against sweeping backgrounds of pea-green airfields and hazy blue skies. Debut author Brown skillfully builds suspense as Elinor studies each bridge, plans her route, and takes flight, leading to a nail- biting conclusion. It's a stirring tale of determination and moxie. Ages 4–8. (Oct.)