Take Flight

Charles Lindbergh, with Spirit of St. Louis in...

Charles Lindbergh, with Spirit of St. Louis in background (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today would have been the 109th birthday of Charles Lindbergh, the first person to fly solo non-stop across the Atlantic Ocean.  He did this in 1927 in his airplane the “Spirit of St. Louis,” which now resides at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. 

Lindbergh is most famous for his transatlantic flight, but he is also famous for something more tragic.  In 1932, his baby son was kidnapped from his bedroom.  After a flurry of ransom notes and a lengthy search, the baby’s body was found about 2 months later.

Remember “Lucky Lindy” and his adventurous spirit with one of these books about those who dare to fly:

Flygirl by Sherri Smith (FIC Smith) — Ida Mae Jones dreams of flight.  Her daddy was a pilot and being black didn’t stop him from fulfilling his dreams.  But her daddy’s gone now, and being a woman, and being black, are two strikes against her.  When America enters the war with Germany and Japan, the Army creates the WASP, the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots — and Ida suddenly sees a way to fly as well as do something significant to help her brother stationed in the Pacific.  But even the WASP won’t accept her as a black woman, forcing Ida Mae to make a difficult choice of “passing,” of pretending to be white to be accepted into the program.

B for Buster by Iain Lawrence (FIC Lawrence) — Sixteen-year-old Kak, desperate to escape his abusive parents, lies about his age in the spring of 1943 to enlist in the Canadian Air Force and soon finds himself based in England as part of a crew flying bombing raids over Germany.

I was Amelia Earhart by Jane Mendelsohn (FIC Mendelsohn) — In this novel, Amelia Earhart tells us what happened after she and her navigator, Fred Noonan, disappeared off the coast of New Guinea one glorious, windy day in 1937.

Coast to coast by Betsy Byars (FIC Byars) — Thirteen-year-old Birch encourages her grandfather to fulfill his dream of flying his old Piper Cub plane from South Carolina to California and then informs him that she is coming along.

Black knights : the story of the Tuskegee airmen by Lynn Homan (940.544 Hom) — Tells the story of the African-American men and women who served in the training program at the Tuskegee Army Air Field from 1941 to 1946, and includes first-hand accounts from pilots, mechanics, nurses, and others, and a selection of black-and-white photographs.

Amelia Earhart’s daughters : the wild and glorious story of American women aviators from World War II to the dawn of the space age by Leslie Haynsworth (920 Hay) — Chronicles the roles of women in aviation since World War II, and discusses the obstacles women had to overcome to be accepted as pilots and astronauts.

Charles Lindbergh and the Spirit of St. Louis in American history by Zachary Kent (629.13092 Ken) — A biography of the American aviator, with an emphasis on the preparation for and details of his solo nonstop flight from New York to Paris in the Spirit of Saint Louis in 1927.

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