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
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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.