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The Jerrie Mock Story: The First Woman to Fly Solo around the World

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The Jerrie Mock Story is the rewarding tale of a feisty woman who not only followed her dream, but made it happen.”
— Dorothy S. Cochrane, curator, Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum  
In this biography for middle-grade readers, Nancy Roe Pimm tells the story of Geraldine “Jerrie” Mock, the first woman to fly solo around the world. In her trusty Cessna, The Spirit of Columbus—also known as Charlie—she traveled from Columbus, Ohio, on an eastward route that totaled nearly twenty-three thousand miles and took almost a month. Overcoming wind, ice, mechanical problems, and maybe even sabotage, Mock persevered.

Mock caught the aviation bug at seven years old, when she rode in a Ford Trimotor plane with her parents. In high school, she displayed a talent for math and science, and she was the only woman in her aeronautical engineering classes at Ohio State University. Although she then settled into domestic life, she never lost her interest in flying. What began as a joking suggestion from her husband to fly around the world prompted her to pursue her childhood dream. But the dream became a race, as another woman, Joan Merriam Smith, also sought to be the first to circle the globe.

Even though Mock beat Smith and accomplished what her heroine Amelia Earhart had died trying to do, her feat was overshadowed by the Vietnam War and other world events. Now, Pimm introduces Mock to a new generation of adventurers.

152 pages, Hardcover

Published March 15, 2016

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About the author

Nancy Roe Pimm

6 books6 followers
Nancy Roe Pimm had volunteered as a docent for the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in the 1980s. After taking an animal handling class, the zoo entrusted her with a vanful of critters to take to local school assemblies. Her favorite passengers were Minnie and Max, the opossums. Another docent duty was to lead zoo tours. While giving the tours, Nancy discovered her fascination with gorillas, especially Colo and her family. In 2007, Nancys book, The Heart of the BeastEight Great Gorilla Stories was published, and in 2011, Colos StoryThe Life of One Grand Gorilla.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Nancy now resides in Plain City, Ohio, along with her husband, Ed, who has retired from a career in racecar driving. Nancy has drawn from her experience as a pit crew member for her husbands race team to write her two other non-fiction titles, The Indy 500- The Inside Track and The Daytona 500-The Thrill and Thunder of the Great American Race. All four of Nancys books are Junior Library Guild Selections. She is currently working on her first YA novel.
Nancy and Ed have three wonderful daughters: Allison, Lindsay, and Carli, a son-in-law Rusty and a two very adorable grandsons, Tommy and Sammy. Nancy still loves to visit schools, but instead of sharing zoo animals, she shares her love of reading and writing. Nancy wrote her first book at age ten, and she brings it to the schools to encourage the students to believe in their dreams. You can reach Nancy through her web site at www.nancyroepimm.com


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Displaying 1 - 14 of 14 reviews
Profile Image for Kim Bahr.
567 reviews4 followers
January 8, 2018
Hometown record breaker that is rarely heard of; interesting read!
Profile Image for Tanya Anderson.
Author 13 books13 followers
August 15, 2016
Everyone has heard of Amelia Earhart, but what do you know about Jerrie Mock, the first woman to fly solo around the world? Amelia tried, but Jerrie got it done.

Jerrie (Fredritz) Mock did not grow up in an age of female empowerment nor with wealth and privilege. She did have a passion to see the world, though, and read all the books she could get her hands on about faraway places—placed very different from her hometown of Newark, Ohio.

After taking a little plane ride at a carnival with her parents when she was seven, Jerrie announced that she was going to become a pilot when she grew up. (Sure you are, kid. It's the 1930s, and that's never going to happen.) She did well in school, excelling in mathematics. After high school, Jerried attended The Ohio State University and studied aeronautical engineering and chemistry. It didn't matter to her that she was the only girl in the classes.

When Jerrie married her high-school sweetheart at age nineteen, she left college and became a wife and eventually mother to three children. But the passion to learn never left. She listened to radio programs so she could learn languages: Spanish, German, and French. She learned how to cook exotic foods from different parts of the world.

Her husband had a good job, and a few years after they got married, the couple bought a small plane. Jerrie was the main pilot; husband Russ also flew, but was the one who backed her efforts. In 1958, Jerrie earned her pilot's license.

You can follow Jerrie's path to making history chapter by chapter in this well-written, carefully researched biography. She encountered all sorts of cultural, political, mechanical, and marital issues as she flew "Charlie" from city to city.

This book should be in every STEM library and classroom across the country.

Profile Image for Kelly.
Author 6 books1,204 followers
December 2, 2016
It read like it was written during the time of Mock's incredible journey around the world, with no shame in declaring Mock's favorite game as a child "Cowboys and Indians" and *marveling* at how women in certain parts of the world had to wear veils with tiny slits for their eyes all the time. It was really jarring and painful at times, given what an incredible story was at hand here. The writing is pretty unforgivable.
361 reviews13 followers
May 21, 2020
A truly inspirational story of the first woman who flew solo around the world. On March 19, 1964 in Columbus. Ohio, Jerrie cleaned her house, had her hair done, put on her blouse, skirt and pumps and climbed into her plane. She returned April 17, 1964 after flying 23,000 miles and having so many close calls. The biggest disappointment to me was her careless husband who cared more about her succeeding then her safety. What a jerk. I’m from Ohio, lived in Columbus for 25 years and can’t believe I didn’t remember this story. After reading the book you should do more investigating about her life after leaving her notoriety behind. She deserved more.
434 reviews1 follower
January 8, 2018
The story was interesting, and, for the most part, interestingly written. It's glaringly obvious that Jerrie Mock grew up in a different time, however. At one point, someone wrote to her husband to commend him for how she was behaving both professionally and feminine (as expected by the men. A woman wrote the note). The way her husband called ahead once and cancelled plans without consulting her also smacked of the time. I don't think that this detracts from the story at all - it added flavor of context: this is the way the world was, and still is, for many people.

One thing that did bother me, was the way the author kept describing things from different cultures as "exotic." From what I understand, that's a pretty loaded word for some people these days - a way of "othering" different cultures. On the one hand, I appreciate that foods and customs and things in India, Africa, etc., would SEEM very exotic to someone from Ohio, i.e., very different and new. On the other hand, the AUTHOR didn't have to use that language, or could have phrased it differently (instead of saying, "That night, Jerrie enjoyed exotic food and native music" - not an exact quote but things like this popped up a couple times - the author could have written something like, "the new food and music seemed exotic to Jerrie, for whom they were new" or something, only hopefully more eloquent).

This might be a totally mild quibble, but I found the use of the word jarring, and I don't come from the cultures they were connected to. I feel that some readers might find it a distancing element in an otherwise fairly well-written and interesting biography.
Profile Image for Christina Getrost.
2,137 reviews66 followers
January 10, 2018
An interesting true story about a woman pilot I'd never heard of but should have, since she's from my home state of Ohio! In 1964 Jerrie Mock, housewife and mom, became the first woman to fly solo around the world, doing what Amelia Earhart never got to do. She left from and returned to the Columbus, Ohio airport, too, of all places... The usual hazards of single-engine aircraft flight (yes, folks, she chose to use a single-engine plane because it would need less fuel and fly lighter and farther before needing to refuel. Sounds scarier to me!) are compounded when she learns she is racing another female pilot to get around the world first. Lots of details about flying, and Jerrie's recollections about who she met with at each landing stop and the little bit of sightseeing she was able to do, add to the story. Illustrated with nice black and white photos, and a list of Jerrie's accomplishments in breaking flight records even after she circumnavigated the globe. Extensive source notes and bibliography, and luckily the author got to interview Jerrie several times before her death in 2014.
Profile Image for Cara Noyes.
618 reviews39 followers
June 18, 2020
This is an excellent book that every young lady should read. Jerrie Mock had big dreams and she took to the skies to fulfill them. She was much more than a mere housewife in a time when that's all that was expected of her.

I love how the author used interviews with Jerrie as the basis for the book. Additionally, the little side notes which give contextual information were very interesting and fun to read. For example, I never knew the cultural meaning of the word "aloha" until now.

Living in the subjects hometown of Newark Ohio make this book all the more interesting. I actually know Susan Reid, Jerrie's sister from Research Club. The next time I see the Jerrie Mock exhibit at the Works Museum, I will have a deeper understanding of the magnificent lady it honors.
4 reviews
January 31, 2022
Laid out well for young readers to easily follow. Includes plenty of photos and explanations of aviation terms that non aviators may struggle with. I will be adding this one to my classroom library.
Profile Image for Emily Andrus.
274 reviews39 followers
September 15, 2016
I've always been fascinated by Amelia Earhart. And yet, it never occurred to me who actually successfully flew the fateful solo trip around the world after Earhart's tragic ending. Ms. Mock never did gain as much fame as Earhart, but her story is edge-of-your-seat exciting. This little ol' housewife left her husband and kids for the month-long solo trip, racing another woman who was also seeking the world record (yes, like flying alone around the world wasn't enough pressure). It's a thrilling story and I appreciate getting to know someone who isn't as famous as she could be.
Profile Image for Keith.
69 reviews1 follower
June 28, 2016
While this book was written for young readers, I found it a great introduction to an aviatrix that I wasn't familiar with. I was 13 when Jerrie Mock made her solo flight around the world. My father was an aerospace engineer but I don't recall ever hearing mention of her. This book really opened my eyes to her amazing journey. It has also wet my appetite to read Jerrie's on account of the around the world flight in "Three Eight Charlie".
Profile Image for erica.
737 reviews
May 9, 2016
nice biography about Jerrie Mock, the first woman to fly solo around the world, released just after the 50th anniversary of the event. told in flights, with a lot personal photos and detailed information.
it would have been nice to have included a flat world map showing her journey with stops & dates highlighted.
Profile Image for Kris.
356 reviews2 followers
May 14, 2016
This book was written for a young audience, but don't let that stop you. What this woman accomplished is astounding! I would love to see true story made into a movie.
Displaying 1 - 14 of 14 reviews

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