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The Daring Miss Quimby Hardcover – September 1, 2009

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 and up
  • Grade Level: 1 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 940L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Holiday House; First Edition edition (September 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0823419967
  • ISBN-13: 978-0823419968
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 11 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,124,810 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 2–5—Harriet Quimby was a writer and adventurer who became the first woman in the United States to receive a pilot's license and the first woman to fly solo across the English Channel. This picture-book biography briefly recounts her interest in flying, her short-lived fame as an aviatrix, and her untimely death less than a year after receiving her license. Whitaker's text flows well, and a time line and author's note at the back of the book provide more information about Quimby's place in aviation history. The two or three paragraphs of text per spread are surrounded by Stock's bright, fluid watercolors. The energetic illustrations reflect the facts of the story and impart a sense of the excitement surrounding the early air shows. Readers will glean additional period details through Stock's depictions of the pilot's dress and the airplanes she flew. Marissa Moss's Brave Harriet (Harcourt, 2001) is a more abbreviated, fictionalized account of Quimby's life. Daring is a good choice for children looking for an accessible book about early female flyers beyond Amelia Earhart and Bessie Coleman.—Donna Cardon, Provo City Library, UT
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Catherine Stock, known for her sensitive paintings, has illustrated many books for children, including several for Clarion. She divides her time between South Africa, France, and New York City. Her website is www.catherinestock.com.

Suzanne George Whitaker has flying in her blood. Her father was in the air force, and her brother flies commercial jets. One summer Suzanne saw a beautiful picture of Harriet. She had to know more; and this, her first picture book, is the product of her curiosity. Suzanne has worked as an elementary and middle school teacher and is currently a reading specialist. She lives in Knoxville, Tennessee.  

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Harriet Quimby looked dainty, but as much as she looked dainty she was daring. She "drove a sporty roadster" and later decided she was going to move from California to New York to become a magazine writer. She was twenty-eight years old and not the first woman to pick up a pen as a magazine writer, but there was something else that caught her fancy and that was the "flying machine." Harriet wanted to learn to fly these machines that "looked like bicycles with wings." She'd shared a seat in a race car whirling around a track at "nearly one hundred miles per hour," so why not a plane?

Despite the heavy objections of her family and friends she was going to learn to fly these dangerous crates. She began her lessons and after three months she was ready for her test. The requirements were strict and a little bit crazy, but she was determined. She had to "complete five figure eights in the air, plus land within 100 feet of a painted spot on the ground." She failed on her first attempt, but there was always another day. On August 1, 1911, the very next day, she succeeded and was an instant hero. She was an honest to goodness real heroine, but whatever happened to Harriet Quimby?

I loved this little book about a very famous woman, but one who seems to have drifted into the woodwork in American history. She was not the first woman to fly a plane, but was the first to obtain a license. The story was whimsical and seemed to capture the personality of this young daring-do woman. The watercolors seemed to reach out to the reader with their brilliance and capture the excitement of the 1910s. In the back of the book is a "Women in Aviation Time Line," more information about Harriet, and additional recommended book and website resources. You're going to love this story about Harriet, the gal who just could be considered a cross between Nellie Bly and Amelia Earhart!
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Format: Hardcover
A risk-taker and go-getter by nature, Harriet Quimby used her position as journalist to defy the prevailing stereotypes about women and write about how women could repair cars, find jobs, and budget income. She also sought out adventure when writing her articles, such as the time she raced around a track at 100 miles per hour when covering a story about a race car. Not surprisingly, an opportunity to research an air show led her to take up flying lessons, and in 1911, Harriet became the first woman in the United States and just the second woman globally to earn her pilot's license. Shortly thereafter, Harriet became the first woman to fly across the English Channel, a dangerous feat that only the very best pilots in the world attempted.

Although she perished in a flying accident at a young age, Harriet Quimby left behind a legacy that helped to inspire countless women after her to enter into male-dominated occupations and to shatter perceptions about what women could and could not do. This well-written book makes an important contribution by bringing Harriet's accomplishments to light for younger readers who otherwise might start their timeline of women's aviation history years later.
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Format: Hardcover
The Daring Miss Quimby made aviation history in the first part of the twentieth century. Inspired by seeing an air show in 1910, she earned her pilot's license in 1911--the first woman in America to do so. In 1912 she was the first woman to fly solo across the English Channel.

Jaunty watercolor paintings capture Harriet Quimby's irrepressible spirit from the book's opening page, where she drives her own sporty roadster on a New York street. This account of her adventures would be even more exciting if the narrative matched the agile art. The competent but flat text doesn't quite come to life. Nevertheless, Harriet's is a dramatic story. The back of the book has information and sources luring readers to learn more about women in aviation.

Less than a year after learning to fly, Harriet Quimby was killed while performing in an air show in Boston. Her brief flying career paved the way for later women from pilots Bessie Coleman and Amelia Earhart to astronaut Sally Ride. The story's final image--the space shuttle soaring into the sky--pays tribute to her legacy.
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