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Flying Solo

How Ruth Elder Soared into America's Heart

In 1927, airplanes were a thrilling but dangerous novelty. Most people, men and women, believed that a woman belonged in the kitchen and not in a cockpit. One woman, Ruth Elder, set out to prove them wrong by flying across the Atlantic Ocean. Ruth didn't make it, crashing spectacularly, but she flew right into the spotlight and America's heart.

This is the story of a remarkable woman who chased her dreams with grit and determination, and whose appetite for adventure helped pave the way for future generations of female flyers.


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"Ruth Elder, a contemporary of Amelia Earhart, set her sights on becoming the first woman to fly across the Atlantic. At age 23, and after only a few flying lessons, she and her copilot set forth. Two-thirds of the way into their flight, the gas line sprung a leak, and they were forced to abandon the plane....In 1929, she and 19 other women (including Earhart) flew solo across the country to prove women can pilot as well as men — and, in this depiction, do it with a few enjoyable comic interludes, too. After landing safely in Cleveland, the ever-optimistic Elder expresses her belief that women would one day become fighter pilots." -- J. B. Petty, Booklist

Product Details

Recommended Age 5 - 8
Author Julie Cummins
Illustrator Malene R. Laugesen
ISBN 1596435097
Publication Date Jul 23, 2013
Publisher Roaring Brook Press
Language English