________________ CM . . . . Volume VIII Number 19 . . . . May 24, 2002

cover The Wright Brothers: A Flying Start.

Elizabeth MacLeod.
Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 2002.
32 pp., pbk. & cl., $7.95 (pbk.), $16.95 (cl.).
ISBN 1-55074-935-8 (pbk.), ISBN 1-55074-933-1 (cl.).

Subject Headings:
Wright, Orville, 1873-1948-Juvenile fiction.
Wright, Wilbur, 1867-1932-Juvenile fiction.
Aeronautics-United States-Biography-Juvenile literature.

Grades 3-6 / Ages 8-11.

Review by Linda Ludke.

*** /4

exerpt:

"About 100 years ago, in just 12 seconds, the world changed forever. On December 17, 1903, near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, Wilbur and Orville Wright made the first controlled, powered flight. The Wrights' airplane, or flying machine as it was called then, traveled only 36 m (120 ft.) - a little more than half the length of a pro-hockey rink - but the brothers had achieved something that no one else had."

MacLeod's biography provides an engaging overview of Orville and Wilbur Wright's early experiments, inventions and the events leading up to their historic flight. Early chapters examine the brothers' childhood and entrepreneurial endeavors including kite making and running a printing press. Archival photographs of the house in which the brothers grew up and pictures of them working in their store bring the text to life. MacLeod emphasizes Orville's and Wilbur's perseverance and hard work by outlining their years of extensive research. The pages are a collage of diagrams, sketches and documents, including Orville's handwritten letter to the Smithsonian Institute requesting a list of books on flight.

     The eye-catching page design also features small pen and ink caricatures of the brothers. Cartoon text bubbles provides first-person insight into the photographs: "Can you see that Wilbur is sitting up and has a passenger in our latest achievement." Quotes from the brothers are also scattered throughout the pages. These details make it seem as if the Wright brothers are telling their own story.

     The final chapters discuss the evolution of flight. A notable feature is the "History of Flight" time line, starting at 1500 with Leonardo da Vinci, and ending at 1997 with the spacecraft Cassini. Students will find "Wilbur's and Orville's lives at a glance" to be useful for quick reference. Five interactive web sites are also summarized.

Recommended.

Linda Ludke is a librarian in London, ON.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364

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