Fearless Flyer

Ruth Law and 
Her Flying Machine

Calkins Creek
(published 3.1.2016) 40 pages 

A True Tale
with A Cherry On Top 

uthor: Heather Lang
      and Illustrator: Raul Colon

C haracter: Ruth Law

 verview from the jacket flap: 

    "Before 1916, no pilot had attempted to fly from Chicago to New York City in one day. 
     No pilot would think of making the trip with an old flying machine and an out-of-date engine.
     And if the pilot was a woman? 
     So the experts said.
     But they didn't know Ruth Law.
     On a windy November morning, she revved her plane's engine and took off on that impossible cross-county flight.
     What Ruth Law did next amazed America."

T antalizing taste: 

   "Slowly she gained altitude.
    As quickly as the wind had gusted, it vanished. Would she have enough gasoline?
    Ruth held onto the left and right levers at all times. One wrong move would send her tumbling from the sky.Holding the right lever with her knees, she turned the knobs on the map box, strapped to her leg. 
    I had a tremendous feeling of freedom, of exhilaration, of power. I was steering my own course by a little six-inch map." 

and something more: The Author's Note of Fearless Flyer explains that "Ruth never let barriers set by society hold her back...When Orville Wright refused to teach her to fly, she found another instructor. Ruth took flying seriously... Ruth believed the key to her success was her mechanical knowledge. She spent many hours learning her plane - the engine, the nuts and bolts, the wires. She whittled struts and grinded valves until her hands blistered."  
     The book begins with this quote:  "When I was a little girl, I used to dream of flying, not with terror ... but with wonder and delight. I would be a swallow flying south, or an eagle swooping down from the clouds, and then, all of a sudden, I'd wake up, just a little girl ready to cry because she had no wings." And then she gained her wings, by persevering to become a pilot!


Cheriee Weichel said...

This looks like a fabulous book that is sure to inspire.

Kay said...

I love reading about those early women pilots. They have some incredible stories. I want to find this one!

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Hi Cheriee,

Yes, it truly does inspire. I think you'll enjoy it!

thanks for stopping by!

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Hi Kay,

I do too! In fact, I've written a picture book about one that I'm hoping to place with a publisher. I so admire their courage and perseverance.

Thanks for stopping by!

Annette Bay Pimentel said...

I admire the attention devoted to back matter in Calkins Creek books. I like the quote you include from that back matter.

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

HI Annette,

Yes, Calkins Creek books include a great deal of additional information and sources. I'm glad you liked that quote!

Thanks for stopping by!