cover image Daredevil: The Daring Life of Betty Skelton

Daredevil: The Daring Life of Betty Skelton

Meghan McCarthy. S&S/Wiseman, $16.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-4424-2262-9

McCarthy has made a career out of picture-book biographies of unexpected subjects, and this thoroughly inspiring portrait of Betty June Skelton (1926–2011) reveals a woman who embodies a “need for speed.” Direct quotations from Skelton fill her story with personality. She was obsessed with flying from an early age, and she made the newspapers for a solo flight on her 16th birthday—never mind that her father had already plopped her into a cockpit four years earlier. “It wasn’t quite legal then so I couldn’t tell anybody,” she recalled. Skelton went on to break records on land, sea, and air, and she even had a shot at becoming the first woman in space. In McCarthy’s succinct prose and wide-eyed acrylic cartooning, Skelton comes through as a woman eager to break barriers and try anything. Ages 4–8. (June)