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The Hallelujah Flight Hardcover – January 7, 2010
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Banning and his skilled mechanic and copilot Thomas Allen became the first African Americans to fly coast to coast across the United States. The "Flying Hoboes," as they were nicknamed, completed the trip in 21 days. Although they encountered much generosity on the ground along the way, they also came across prejudice and barriers to entry in some establishments where they stopped to rest and refuel.
Beautifully illustrated by acclaimed artist John Holyfield, this engaging book shines the spotlight on two relatively unknown historical figures who overcame not only extremely tight financial constraints but also institutionalized discrimination by race as they flew their way into the record books. Parents and teachers looking to expand their children's book collections to include new works of historical fiction will find this book an appealing choice.
The art in this book is especially noteworthy, and you can get a sneak preview of some of the illustrations at the author's website. The artwork, done in acrylics, offers an exuberant style and features unusual perspectives, such as in a particularly joyful 2-page spread which shows the two pilots flying in their underwear over the California desert, where the pilots seem to be about to soar off the edge of the book!Read more ›
Of course everyone laughed and poked fun of them as they proudly worked on their crate and very soon they were dubbed the "Flying Hoboes." On September 19, 1932 they were aloft over the skies of Dycer Airport near Los Angeles, soaring through the clouds on the first leg of their journey. Clickety, clack, clickety clack! The plane rolled through the clouds as the daring duo completed the first leg of the trip. A little leak tested James's "signing" theory and soon they were off again. The open cockpits were hot and soon they were soaring over the mountains dressed only in muscle tees and drawers. Nothing would stop them. "Hallelujah," Thomas would yell. "Hallelujah right back at you!" was the reply. Yet there was something named "prejudice" that might put a halt to their trip. Would anything, including that, be able to stop the Hallelujah Flight?
This once lost, but now found story about James and Thomas's Hallelujah Flight will thrill the reader.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This item was an all time hit, across the family, from illustration to story line. Great American history lesson.Published 9 months ago by Universal
I was not familiar with the story of the Hallelujah Flight. It was so wonderful to hear about these unsung African American heroes. Read morePublished on April 9, 2014 by A. Little