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Born to Fly: The First Women's Air Race Across America

4.50  ·  Rating details ·  66 ratings  ·  42 reviews
Born to Fly is the gripping story of the fearless women pilots who aimed for the skies—and beyond.

Just nine years after American women finally got the right to vote, a group of trailblazers soared to new heights in the 1929 Air Derby, the first women's air race across the U.S. Follow the incredible lives of legend Amelia Earhart, who has captivated generations; Marvel Cr
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published September 24th 2019 by Roaring Brook Press
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Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Steve Sheinkin is a sure bet for me. Every book I have read by him is well-researched and written in engaging, informative prose. This book shattered my image of Amelia Earhart as the only pioneer in women's aviation. Sheinkin even addresses this phenomenon in the Epilogue to this book. Most certainly the mystery surrounding her disappearance plays a role. I would also contend that her husband and publisher, George Putnam, also played a significant role in her visibility to the public. There are ...more
Jul 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The name that always come to mind when female aviators are mentioned is the famously known Amelia Earhart. However, there were many other female pilots who have made an impact in this field during the same era.

Born to Fly-The First Women’s Air Race across America was a fascinating children’s nonfiction book about remarkable, but little known women pilots such as Louise McPhetridge, Ruth Elder, Marvel Crosson, Florence Lowe, Raymonde de Laroche, Harriet Quimby, Bessie Coleman(the first African A
Aug 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
I will never say no to a Steve Sheinkin book and this one was no exception. Born to Fly tells the story of the first women pilots and the first Female Air Derby. It is a fascinating story with a lot of names I was not familiar with. Of course everyone knows who Amelia Earhart was, but what was interesting is that she was not the best pilot only the most famous and she knew it. At the time there were other famous female pilots like Pancho Barnes, Marvel Crosson, Louise Thaden and many others who ...more
Oh, my!!! Get this in the hands of our grades 6-12 students.

Louise Thaden. Marvel Crosson. Bobbi Trout. Ruth Nichols. Pancho Barnes. Many others. And Amelia Earhart. Most of us know Earhart, but she was one of a tribe of women who, beginning in the 1920s, were crazy about flying and setting records. Twenty of these women had the honor of flying in the 1929 Women's Air Derby, an eight day, cross country trip from CA to OH.

Sheinkin introduces us to several of these women with nail bit
It's hard to go wrong in choosing to read a book by Steve Sheinkin, and this one, focused on the Women's Air Derby of 1929, is no exception to that rule. In it, Sheinkin shares the stories of the women who participated in that race, the first of its kind featuring female pilots. Not only does he provide some background information about flight, planes, and early women flyers, but he quickly draws readers into this story, which is filled with all sorts of drama, intrigue, possible sabotage, and d ...more
The second person POV worked well to make the story both unique and action-packed. Telling the story of several of the most prolific female aviators and the derby race that killed one, injured or destroyed planes, and ultimately was a successful proving ground that women should and can be worthy of flight when all the cards were stacked against them (even multiple accounts of tampering with their planes!)

Sheinkin does it again to find a noteworthy story and make it appealing for everyone to rea
Ms. Yingling
Jul 11, 2019 rated it liked it
E ARC from Edelweiss Plus

In 1929, pretty much anything that could be made a contest became a contest, and the bigger, better, and more dangerous, the better. Flying was still fairly new, and air shows attracted big crowds. There weren't a lot of pilots, and there were fewer pilots who were women, since women were deemed weaker and less mentally able to handle the rigors of flight. This, of course, was ridiculous, and the women who entered the first Air Derby were all different exampl
Richie Partington
Nov 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
Richie’s Picks: BORN TO FLY: THE FIRST WOMEN’S AIR RACE ACROSS AMERICA by Steve Sheinkin, Roaring Brook, September 2019, 288p., ISBN: 978-1-62672-130-2

“When a Southwest Airline’s plane’s engine exploded mid-flight this week, pilot Tammi Jo Shultz made an emergency landing. She is a former Navy pilot and one of the first women to fly an F/A-18 fighter jet.
Shultz is an anomaly among airline pilots — and not just because she was able to stay calm in such extreme circumstances.
As a fem
Kate Waggoner
Sep 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-read
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher, Macmillan Children's Publishing Group, for an advance copy of Steve Sheinkin's Born to Fly: The First Women's Air Race Across America. This book will be released on September 24, 2019. All opinions are my own.

This is a middle grade nonfiction book about the female pilots who participated in the 1929 Air Derby which was the first women's air race across the United States. The book talks about each woman's journey to becoming a pilot, her trip across the
Sep 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Can we all agree, Steve Sheinkin is just the best when it comes to kids' nonfiction? I think it's just not even a contest. But this book sure was! It's about the first women's air race!

Amelia Earhart may be the only women from the early days of flight who we can name today but she was by no means the first, the fastest, or the best. Yes, she was the first woman to fly across the Atlantic. Did you know on that first flight, she was a passenger, not a pilot? She was recruited to do it,
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kim McGee
Aug 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
I learned so much, as I always do with a book from Steve Sheinkin but the best part about his books is that you don't realize how much you are learning, you just want to know more. Most of us are familiar with Amelia Earhart but few people know about the stunning feats of her peers like Marvel Crossen, Pancho Barnes or Louise Thaden. They all came from different backgrounds, different parts of the country but shared a common dream - to fly. The other focus of the book is the first Women's Air De ...more
Jul 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This nonfiction book collects stories about the lives of several trailblazing female pilots. When you mention female pilots, the first name that comes to mind is always (at least for me) Amelia Earhart. She’s here, of course, but this book introduces readers to new names in the field, like Marvel Crosson, Louise Thaden, Elinor Smith, and Ruth Nichols, just to name a few. Their stories are all different, but they are woven together in this story to tell the tale of what it was like to take risks ...more
Jul 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, attempted
Fell into this while in between two other titles and delighted by all the accounts of what women did to pursue their passion for flying. Building a plane from scratch (!), saving up for lessons, working in the aviation field (!) and of course, launching oneself off the roof.

The arc I read had some photos which helped show how planes at the outset were really nothing more than wooden boxes, and some photos or art was listed TK. The only drawback I found was the quick pace of writing a
Jun 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One again, Steve Sheinkin's nonfiction storytelling prowess reigns supreme! Yes, we know about Amelia Earhart but I'm guessing most of you (and me) don't know much about other badass aviatrixes such as Ruth Elder, Louise McPhetridge, Marvel Crosson, Bobbi Trout, even big personality Pancho Barnes, all women who were (as Sheinkin's title claims) born to fly. I'd never heard of the Women's Air Derby. But, boy oh boy, did I love following these savvy competitors -- their trials and triumphs, danger ...more
James Taber
Sep 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received an ARC of this book through NetGalley.

This is a vitally important history for anyone interested in aviation or women's history. The stories in these pages are guaranteed to thrill, delight, and move readers of any age, but they will be especially valuable to middle grade and young adult readers. All the history and life stories build up to the account of the legendary 1929 Women's Air Derby; it really did feel like I was there to live it.

The fact that only Amel
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
When I first discovered an author who focused on high interest YA non fiction books, I thought I died and gone to heaven. Steve Sheinkin continues to make me happy with every book he writes. I put this one right up there with Bomb and Most Dangerous on the interesting factor, but a tad bit easier to read (it reads as an upper middle grade). Born to Fly is about the first women pilots and a race they had across America. Of course, Amelia Earhart is there, but you also learn about Louise Thaden, G ...more
Patti Sabik
Sep 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, non-fiction
Again Steve Sheinkin takes a topic I didn’t think I was interested in and convinces me in less than five minutes to sit and read the whole book in one sitting. Women’s rights...okay; death defying acts of bravery and air stunts...sure; supporting each other during a female only 9-day cross country air race amidst rumors of sabotage and ugly These women were amazing people. Physically, emotionally, and mentally strong with a will to compete like nothing else. Sheinkin narrates their ...more
Oct 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
5 stars for Steve Sheinkin, who does not disappoint here. (Except for one line in which he tweaks one of my usage pain points. The second time he refers to the officiant at Marvel Crosson's funeral, he should not have referred to him as just "the reverend." Reverend is an adjective, not a title, and should never be used on its own.)

Only one or two stars, however, for whoever it was in the editorial or design staff at Roaring Brook Press who made the decision to include the line drawi
Jun 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read an advance copy of this book for the upcoming Harbor Springs Festival of the Book 2019.

From jumping from a shed holding a giant umbrella, to sledding face first down an icy road, the women who became the first aviators shared an adventurous spirit and fascination with tools, the mechanics of machinery, speed, and flight. Sheinkin introduces us to daring young women – Louise McPhetridge, Marvel Crosson, Helen Thaden, Amelia Earhart and others. Their collaborative perseverance i
Sep 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs
Thank you so much to Roaring Brook Press for the eARC of this book!
I love the way Steve Sheinkin makes history accessible and captivating for readers young and old. Born to Fly focuses on the Women’s Air Derby in 1929 - a race from California to Ohio that help to prove that women were just as capable aviators as their male counterparts. They recovered from crashes, (probably) sabotage, and illness and proved to the world that a woman’s place is in the sky.
While many of us are familiar with Ame
This basically covers the same information as Fly Girls: How Five Daring Women Defied All Odds and Made Aviation History but in a more accessible form. It is categorized as a Childrens book, but I didn't feel as though it was talking down to the readers or below my (adult) level of comprehension. It also includes more information on flyers who weren't in Fly Girls or were only touched on in passing: Pancho Barnes, Marvel Crosson, Elinor Smith, Bobbi Trout...
I always enjoy Sheinkin's books and this is no exception. He focuses this time on the first Women's Air Derby in 1929 and manages to capture the danger, adventurous spirit, and camaraderie among the pilots.

While it's not a surprise that these women faced opposition after trying to justify their place as pilots, I was not aware of the depth of sabotage they faced, both verbal and through intentional damage to their planes which caused serious injury. Much like women throughout time who have had
Lizanne Johnson
Jul 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Steve Sheinkin introduces the reader to a group of women pilots who make history. Of course Amelia Earhart is included, but the best part is meeting all the other pilots of all ages and from many different walks of life. These women broke records and accepted challenges including a cross country air race. The text reads like a great fiction book with lots of suspense. This is a great book to share with girls to show that women can do anything. I will definitely be adding this title to my middle ...more
Jun 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very interesting book about female pilots and all the difficulties they endured. Upon reading, you’ll get a small snippet into their lives from childhood up, which helps others to see they were children like most others but had a certain “spark” that led each of them to pursue learning to fly. Nevertheless this isn’t an easy read; by that I mean any student reading this should have a teacher, parent, or librarian to guide them into a deeper understanding.
I received an arc from NetGalley in
Oct 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was very interesting. It held my attention the whole time, and I was waiting to see what happened. I very much enjoyed this book. When it came to women's aviation, the only one I had ever heard of was Amelia Earhart. I am excited to share this book with my daughter, who is 12. It amazes me every time when I read a book that deals with historical facts and how lucky that we have it with our rights and being able to do anything we want to do, career wise.
Fascinating as always! I loved learning the backstories of many of the women who flew in the 1929 Women's Air Derby. It is the story of the women's fight to be considered relevant in the world of aviation. It is a story about these women's passion and dedication for flying. This true story is written like a novel and pulled me right in. It is a great example to young readers about the power of women, friendship, and having the grit to follow your dreams.
Sandy Brehl
Important stories of high-flying, groundbreaking women, several of whom have been the subjects of outstanding prior books, others whose life stories have rarely been explored in literature for young readers. Author Sheinkin's writing is, as always, as readable and engaging as a well-written novel, but provides ample evidence within the text and in back matter that his research is reliable and deep.
Aug 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
"They started by jumping off roofs. They wound up kicking down doors--for themselves, and everyone else."

The book ends with this powerful line and tells the incredible story of the brave female pilots who participated in the 1929 Air Derby, the first derby to allow female pilots to participate. This is a great read for any middle grade student and a fantastic look at gender expectations of our past and how they still impact our present.
Hoover Public Library Kids and Teens
In this riveting account, Newbery Honor author Sheinkin (Bomb) introduces 20 American pilots who flew in the 1929 Women’s Air Derby, from Santa Monica, Calif., to Cleveland, Ohio. How the women deftly handled weather, accidents, fires, exhaustion, and far too many chicken dinner banquets are among the accounts.
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I was born in Brooklyn, NY, and my family lived in Mississippi and Colorado before moving back to New York and settling in the suburbs north of New York City. As a kid my favorite books were action stories and outdoor adventures: sea stories, searches for buried treasure, sharks eating people… that kind of thing. Probably my all-time favorite was a book called Mutiny on the Bounty,