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Daredevil: The Daring Life of Betty Skelton Hardcover – June 4, 2013


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Daredevil: The Daring Life of Betty Skelton + The Day the Crayons Quit
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Best Children's Books
This title has been selected by the Amazon editors as one of the Best Children's Books of 2013 for Ages 3-5.

Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 640L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books (June 4, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442422629
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442422629
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 9.3 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #554,778 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

K-Gr 2-This book has a terrific message for young girls about breaking barriers; unfortunately, essential information about Skelton is missing or incorrect. According to McCarthy, "At the age of twelve her father boosted her up, plopped her into a plane, and waved good-bye. Betty was flying by herself!" McCarthy notes that Skelton studied information she had requested from aircraft manufacturers (using the ruse of helping her dad buy a plane), but that obviously wasn't enough to qualify her to fly solo. The lack of a reference to the training she received from Ensign Kenneth Wright will leave young readers to think otherwise. McCarthy claims NASA blocked Skelton from flying with the Mercury 7, but she was never officially considered for inclusion on the crew. Skelton knew the invitation to undergo astronaut endurance tests was a publicity stunt, but McCarthy writes, "Previously only animals had gone into outer space. No man-or woman-had yet done so. This was Betty's chance!" In spirit, McCarthy's profile of Skelton is exciting, fun, and inspirational. However, like the trailblazing daredevil's planes and cars and boats, it speeds right past important facts as though they would detract from an amazing life when they most certainly wouldn't. McCarthy's familiar round-eyed renderings of her characters are endearing as always, and her palette, set in ample white space, is cheerful. But what could have been a great introduction to a fascinating thrill seeker sadly sacrifices accuracy for stylistic embellishment, and the resulting errors are too significant to overlook.-Alyson Low, Fayetteville Public Library, ARα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

As a child in the 1930s, Betty Skelton played with toy airplanes and longed to become a pilot. And she did, taking her first solo flight at the age of 12 and getting her license at 16. With no opportunities to fly for a commercial airline or the U.S. Navy, she became a stunt pilot. Skelton, who set an altitude record in 1951 and retired soon afterward, was invited to undergo training tests with the Mercury 7 astronauts, though “NASA wasn’t ready to send a woman to space.” Painted in acrylics, the simplified illustrations feature big-eyed, amiable characters. The text is simplified, too, which makes it accessible to young children but sometimes leaves readers wondering about what was omitted. Short quotes from Skelton add her voice to the narrative. The book’s charm lies mainly in the illustrations, such as the cockpit scene in which Skelton flies barefoot, her red toenails gleaming. An attractive picture book introducing a lesser-known woman in American aviation. Grades K-3. --Carolyn Phelan

More About the Author

Publishers Weekly said "McCarthy's humor is right on target for mischievous younger readers." Her work has also been called "bold," "whimsical," "wacky," and "terribly amusing." Her nonfiction has been called "light hearted but well researched" and "action
packed."

For more information than you'd ever want to know about Meghan and her books, go to www.meghan-mccarthy.com & www.aliensarecoming.com. Once you enter you'll have a hard time leaving! Lots of free stuff! Fun for the parents! Fun for the kids! Fun for everyone!

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Z Hayes HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 22, 2013
Format: Hardcover
My eight-year-old daughter and I enjoyed this inspiring picture book biography on the "first lady of firsts", Betty Skelton. Betty was born in 1926 and displayed a keen interest in flying from a young age, flying solo at the tender age of twelve, when it wasn't even legal for her to do so! Yet, nothing would stand in the way of Betty's resolve to fly and drive fast cars, and achieve many other feats that were unrivaled for a woman of her time.

Betty received her pilot's license at sixteen but though she dearly wished to make flying a career, the cultural conventions of the time did not allow for females to be full-time pilots, so Betty decided to become a stunt pilot instead, performing amazing daredevil feats that seem quite extraordinary even by today's standards! She set some records in flying and then went on to pursue car-racing, breaking the record for women. Betty also became the first female boat jumper and succeeded at many other feats. This woman ran on adrenaline and could not keep still!

Betty is a great inspiration to children, especially young girls who dream of attaining great feats of their own. Betty's story is one of determination, of never giving up even in the face of rejection, and of living life to the fullest. The woman drove a Corvette till the day she died! I'm guessing she's having fun even now, somewhere up there:-)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sheryl M. on July 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My little nephew (18 months) LOVES this book. My sister became a private pilot before she was licensed to drive a car, so this book is perfect for our family. The illustrations are beautiful, and he loves to look at the fast cars and planes. The story itself is true and very well written. It is an aspiring tale of young girl (later a woman) who dared to be different. A great read for any boy, girl, or adult!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Denis Vukosav TOP 100 REVIEWER on January 22, 2014
Format: Hardcover
“Daredevil: The Daring Life of Betty Skelton” both written and illustrated by Meghan McCarthy is the story of one brave girl who did not allow that time or gender impose her the limits, the picture book that is full of inspiration.

Betty Skelton who was born in 1926 lived in a time when women were much less equal than it is today; back them to see some girl doing something exciting like flying or be engaged in some other dangerous sport was almost impossible.
Betty was an aerobatics pilot and land speed record holder who collected 17 aviation and automobile records in total – she drove racing cars, rode motorcycles, flew planes and jumped out of them, and did many other exciting things…

“Daredevil” picture book tells the story of her life adapted in a nice way to be fully interesting to preschoolers, a story that will really appeal to children because it shows how surroundings cannot impose unfair restrictions if we do not agree on them.
Additionally, the book includes Fun facts, Time Line, Betty’s quotes, and selected bibliography what makes this book even more interesting not only for young readers.

The book illustrations were made in acrylic, in classic cartoon style, and especially convenient is to see how the author hold to the details like e.g. Betty always flew barefoot.

Given the above, it is a book that will entertain, inspire and motivate children, and this is in itself is a sufficient recommendation to enjoy its pages together with our kids.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. S. Wayne on October 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My three-year-old boy was interested in this. His big takeaway was that Betty Skelton flew fast and that she flew in her bare feet. It's in the rotation. And he doesn't think it's "for girls!"
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By S. Publicker on August 12, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I bought this for a little girl who loves airplanes. The little girl enjoyed the book as did I. I had never heard of Betty Skelton before the book and the book does a great job of recounting her life and what she was like. Recommended.
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