Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Picture Books
Brave Harriet

Brave Harriet

Fall 2001 Picture Books
Ages: 6 - 9 yrs.
Author: Marissa Moss
Illustrator: C.F. Payne
ISBN: 0-15-202380-1
Hardcover Price: $16.00
The "brave Harriet" of this appealing biography is Harriet Quimby, the first American woman to receive a pilot's license and the first woman to fly solo across the English Channel in 1912. Already a successful newspaper woman when she saw her first plane in flight, Harriet started flying lessons that very day. "I knew where I belonged," she said, "there, at the controls with blue sky around me." Artist C.F. Payne's remarkable illustrations are at once accurate and wondrously romantic. We see how spindly and fragile Harriet's little aeroplane was; we appreciate the courage it took to fly along, though thick mist, with only a compass for her guide. Her successful Channel flight took little more than an hour-and-half, but the world scarcely heard about her accomplishment. Harriet's triumph was eclipsed by the sinking of the Titanic on the same day, April 16, 1912. To brave Harriet "it didn't matter, because I knew I had done it." Author Marissa Moss's spare text is enlivened by her subject's own words about the flight contained in an article she wrote about it for the New York Herald. A compelling collaboration that deserves a wide audience.
Selma G. Lanes   ©2001 Parents' Choice

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