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First Flight: The Story of Tom Tate and the Wright Brothers (I Can Read Level 4) Paperback – February 18, 2003

4.8 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-3?This easy reader tells the delightful story of young Tom Tate, a boy who assisted the Wright Brothers with experiments for their historic flying machine. The author's note identifies Tom as a real person and supplies basic facts of his life, but the story focuses only on "Will and Orv's" visits to Kittyhawk. The fictionalized dialogue is fairly realistic and the story line progresses at an even pace. Bolognese has carefully researched the watercolor illustrations, which are consistent with photographs of the events. Children will identify with the spirit of this boy who enthusiastically volunteered to try out the glider when there wasn't enough wind to lift the grown men. A fine addition.?Sharon R. Pearce, San Antonio Public Library, TX
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Gr. 2^-3. From the I Can Read Chapter Book series, this fictionalized story from aviation history tells of Tom Tate, a boy from Kitty Hawk who befriended Orville and Wilbur Wright and took the second solo flight on their first glider. The tale does not end with Tom's flight, for he continues to watch his friends' experiments until, in 1903, he is there to see Orv take the first machine-powered flight. In addition to showing a slice of history, this intriguing book offers a good story and an inkling of the inventors' trial-and-error methods. The many well-composed illustrations, tinted with delicate watercolors, feature strong line drawings that show the characters' emotions through their faces and body language. A good introduction to the Wright brothers, from a child's point of view. Carolyn Phelan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: 2 - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 460L (What's this?)
  • Series: I Can Read Level 4
  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Reissue edition (February 18, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0064442152
  • ISBN-13: 978-0064442152
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.5 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,698 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author


George Shea is a children's writer and environmental journalist. His most
recent non-fiction book is a biography of Rachel Carson: "Rachel Carson, Founder of the Environmental Movement." He is currently writing a biography of global warming pioneer, Charles David Keeling (1928-2005) of Keeling Curve fame and sees a strong parallels between Keeling and Carson. "Rachel Carson woke the world up to the fact that the environment was vulnerable and could be damaged, even destroyed by human activity. Less than a decade later, Keeling accomplished the same thing relative to global warming with his measurements that showed the relentless growth of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere."

He also enjoys writing about inventors. His "First Flight, the Story of Tom Tate and the Wright Brothers, tells the true story of young Tom Tate, a Kitty Hawk boy who befriended Wilbur and Orville and became a 12 year old test pilot when the Wrights sent him up in their first experimental glider.

He lives in Studio City, California with his wife, Martha Stevens, a writer and professional storyteller. In 2009, George and Martha's play, "Seeds," a retelling of the myth of Persephone was read at Fordham Lincoln Center.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on December 4, 2001
Format: Paperback
My son, in second grade, was so proud of himself when he completed this book on his own- his first chapter book- that he asked me to find more of the series. Fascinated by history, this historical fiction based on the Wright brothers held his interest to the end.
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Format: Paperback
I chose this book from the local library for my 7 year old daughter. When we got home, she read it immediately and started discussing the book. Now I have read it and will search the Internet to find more information about these actual events. This book is a keeper and I am buying a copy for our home library.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My son loves this book. He reads it to me over and over and he even takes it to school for the teacher to read it to the class. He loves any books of transportion; planes, trains, and cars.
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Format: Paperback
My 5-year-old did not want to put this book down until he finished it. He loved that it was true, and he related to the try, try again theme for success in the story. If you have a child within this reading level and is interested at all in airplanes, this is a winner to buy!
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This book is a very simple and fun introduction to the Wright's Brothers for transitional readers. I used it with one second grader and two third graders as their first chapter book we did as a group. They really enjoyed it. It was right at their reading level and perfect for our use.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Got this as part of my nephews, who is in first grade, Christmas gift and he loves reading this along with other books in his reading level. Really cute to listen to him learning new words and phrases and learning about history!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wonderful educational book about the First Flight! Beautiful illustrations! Great learning resource. Our family has really enjoyed this title for our first grader!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Cute book on the history of flying and explaining 'why' to kids whom want to know. Easy, fun read. Great conversation started.
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First Flight: The Story of Tom Tate and the Wright Brothers (I Can Read Level 4)
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