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To Fly: The Story of the Wright Brothers Hardcover – September 23, 2002
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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From Publishers Weekly
Behind the world's first manned flight were Orville and Wilbur Wright, two brothers with a dream and the determination to carry it out. In this rather dry biography, Old (The Wright Brothers: Inventors of the Airplane, for older readers) draws on a wealth of historical and personal facts (the brothers wore business suits during their beachside experiments; they lived at home and never married). She recounts the Wrights' childhood fascination with flying ("Many a night [Orville] lay in his bed in Dayton, Ohio, imagining what it would be like to swoop through the sky"), their experiments with kites and gliders, and the events of December 1903, when they flew four short flights off the dunes of Kitty Hawk, N.C. Clearly written passages explain how the brothers drew on their personal strengths Orville was the idea man, Wilbur the problem-solver to overcome such knotty scientific obstacles as air pressure (they built a wind tunnel in a washtub). The exhaustive details are well supported by Parker's (Cold Feet) sophisticated ink-and-wash illustrations, which resemble the fast, loose sketches of a scientific notebook and retain a suitably airy feel. His drawings of the brothers' Kitty Hawk attempts soar off the page and prove more inspiring than the academic tone of the writing. For young history and flying buffs, this book capably delivers the facts, then sends imaginations into flight on the wings of the illustrations. Ages 7-11.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
Grade 3-5-Some may question whether anyone needs another book on the Wright brothers. What is there new to say? Many biographies sufficiently document their trials, errors, and successes. And like Russell Freedman's The Wright Brothers (Holiday, 1991), they benefit from careful research; the brothers themselves took and left copious notes and photographs. The advantage of this presentation is its style and accessibility and the story it tells of two brothers (alike in goals, different in personalities) who had ideas and kept at them, whose parents nurtured those ideas, that creativity, and critical thinking. Old takes readers along with a chronological approach and stops after the first heavier-than-air manned flight. She relates how two bicycle repairmen solved the problems that leading scientists of the time had been unable to master. She carefully and almost effortlessly helps youngsters to understand the steps: wind resistance, drag, the need for rounded front edges on a propeller, more accurate air-pressure tables. But her story ultimately shows how the brothers worked together-almost in tandem-like the bicycle wheels in their shop, and how each man's strengths complemented the other's. Parker's characteristic watercolors do more than inform Old's straightforward story. They help to set an inventive tone-a kind of experimental fluidity that floats through the book-as if something might be going to happen. And for young readers, something indeed does.
Harriett Fargnoli, Great Neck Library, NY
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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