This work of fiction is based on life of James Banning, the first African American to complete a transcontinental flight. It is told from the viewpoin...moreThis work of fiction is based on life of James Banning, the first African American to complete a transcontinental flight. It is told from the viewpoint of Thomas Allen, Banning's copilot and mechanic. Others were skeptical of Allen & Banning, naming them the Flying Hoboes. They started out on September 19, 1932. In return for supplies and food, people could write their names on Banning's plane.
As the plane moved east, Banning and Allen ran into the bigger challenge of prejudice and were turned away from places. In Oklahoma, they were greeted by family and friends before heading off to Illinois and on through a fierce Pennsylvania storm. The two men flew over 3300 miles in their OXX6 Eagle Rock plane.
The illustrations in this book convey the moods of the book, from carefree to concerned. A rough map of the Hallelujah Flight is included near the back of the book. This would be a good recommendation to kids who like flight books. It's nice to offer more than Amelia Earhart. Children who enjoy reading about astronauts may also like this book about an earlier time. (less)
I initially selected this book to read because I remembered my Dad talking about going to watch the Milwaukee Braves play when he was a little boy. He...moreI initially selected this book to read because I remembered my Dad talking about going to watch the Milwaukee Braves play when he was a little boy. Henry "Hank" Aaron was one of the players he would tell me about.
As a boy, Henry practiced batting by swinging a broom handle and used rags or tin cans for his baseballs. In the 1940s, there were many ball diamonds in his hometown of Mobile, Alabama where he couldn't play because of the color of his skin. When he turned twelve, a new ball diamond opened, one where the sign read "colored only" instead of "whites only". Henry didn't hold his bat the right way, but he'd play until the night was too dark and until he could hit harder than anyone else at Carver Park.
A year later, Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in big league baseball and Henry Aaron now had a chance at his dream. He heard of the challenges, knew what he would face, but kept working to get into the big leagues. While still in high school, Henry was able to play for a local semi-pro team. When first he had a chance to try out for the Dodgers, he was dismissed as someone too small who played wrong. That didn't stop Henry. The book follows his progress until he makes it into the major leagues and his family sees him play in an exhibition game in Mobile.
The illustrations in this book are gorgeous. This would be a great picture book for not only sports fans, but for discussing civil rights and following dreams. It could also be a good fit for students studying either Alabama or Wisconsin history. Of particular interest to many baseball fans will be the statistics chart at the end of the book.(less)
**spoiler alert** When Annie Edson Taylor's work as a finishing teacher dried up, the elderly woman comes up with a plan to secure her financial futur...more**spoiler alert** When Annie Edson Taylor's work as a finishing teacher dried up, the elderly woman comes up with a plan to secure her financial future. All she needs is a well made, customized barrel and everything else will fall into place. Ms. Taylor made a mistake when looking to hire someone to make the barrel by telling him that she was going to use the barrel to go over Niagara Falls. Not wanting to be associated with a death, the craftsman refuses to build the barrel.
Ms. Taylor was not to be thwarted, eventually persuades the craftsman to build her barrel with is accommodations to help keep her in place, including pillows. A local is hired to place her at just the right point above Niagara Falls. She gets a manager to help build crowds for the event. Many of the people that day were surprised to see a woman of more than sixty years, expecting someone much younger from the hype.
I do not even want to imagine what it felt like to ride over those falls and the terror that had to battle against Ms. Taylor's body. This book captures the uneasy silence as the crowd waited to see if the barrel rider survived. Chris Van Allsburg's foray into nonfiction doesn't end with Ms. Taylor's removal from the barrel or with her recovery from the feat. It details the disappointing aftermath of what was meant to capture popular attention and transform it into income. Untrustworthy agents, the dubious audiences and the theft of her barrel spoil Ms. Taylor's circuit. She ultimately ended up back at the Falls, with a stand and a replacement barrel, eking out a living from minor tourist trade.
I enjoyed losing myself in the black-and-white illustrations in this book and the historical details throughout. At the end of the book is further information about other riders to take the plunge over the falls. Ms. Taylor remains the only woman to do so alone.
This would be a great picture book to share at the start of a biography unit or to hand a student with interest in the extreme.(less)
While I didn't appreciate the very beginning's generalities, I found the highlights and lowlights of Jefferson's and Adams's friendship to be entertai...moreWhile I didn't appreciate the very beginning's generalities, I found the highlights and lowlights of Jefferson's and Adams's friendship to be entertaining and informative. The illustrations are expressive and support the text well.(less)
Teams representing Stanford and Berkeley came together to play women's basketball before a crowd of 500 rowdy fans. The only men at this game were a j...moreTeams representing Stanford and Berkeley came together to play women's basketball before a crowd of 500 rowdy fans. The only men at this game were a janitor and his assistant. The women on each team were assigned different sections of the court to play. Successful baskets were awarded only a single point. While Fouls still gave players a chance at a basket, much was different at this first intercollegiate women's game.
The game is shown through the eyes of Agnes Morley, one of the players on Stanford's team. A ranch girl at heart, Agnes's mother sent her to Stanford in hopes of making her a lady. Instead, she ends up on the Stanford women's basketball game. While the Stanford team is used to playing in front of everyone, the Berkeley team insists that they don't play outside where the men can see.
Matt Collins's illustrations bring to life the energy and emotion of the game in rich detail. The author's note explains more about Morley's life as well as the varied accomplishment of her fellow players. A timeline at the back details how women's basketball developed and changed over time. Educators will appreciate the resources suggested at the end of the book.One use for this book would be to have students compare basketball today with how it was played in the 1890s as well as changes in equipment and uniform.
This is a beautiful nonfiction picture book biography of Chilean poet and activist Pablo Neruda. I love how the English and Spanish words intertwine i...moreThis is a beautiful nonfiction picture book biography of Chilean poet and activist Pablo Neruda. I love how the English and Spanish words intertwine in the art.(less)