Whenever I'm brainstorming ideas for new displays, I check out Brownielocks. There are many similar sites like this one, but the webmaster uses trusted print sources (and not simply other websites) to create her calendars. When I noticed that November is "Aviation History Month," I immediately gathered books for our display near the checkout desk. Perfect tie-in to the resurgence of interest in Amelia Earhart! I've happily replenished the display several times since Monday, so the books are indeed checking out.
We have several good biographies of Amelia Earhart, but I cannot wait to get my hands on Candace Fleming's upcoming biography of Amelia Earhart. I also cannot find a publication date, so I'm assuming she's still working on it. If you have read Fleming's previous works, you'll understand what I mean!
(She's also working on several picture books, which is also awesome news.)
Amelia Earhart is probably the most famous female pilot (I know the trend has been away from distinct words for male and female occupations, but I really like the word aviatrix!), but let's take a look at books honoring other women in aviation history.
Wilbur and Orville Wright's story is known to all, but few know the importance that their sister, Katharine, played in their lives. Katharine Wright's story is told in two excellent biographies: My Brother's Flying Machine, written in poetry form by the fabulous Jane Yolen, and The Wright Sister: Katharine Wright and Her Famous Brothers, for older children.
Talkin' About Bessie is a excellent biography (in poetry form) about Elizabeth Coleman, the first African American female pilot. Nikki Giovanni describes her hardships and determination with humor and sensitivity; told through the perspectives of Coleman's family and acquaintances, Talkin' About Bessie is a remarkable read.
Brave Harriet tells the story of Harriet Quimby, the first American woman to receive her pilot's license. Also told in poetic form, Brave Harriet tells the dramatic tale of Quimby's solo flight across the English Channel.
And in the interest of coming full circle, Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream is the inspiring and heartbreaking story of an amazing group of 13 pioneers within NASA's space program. Although I have a few quibbles with the book, I read it in one evening and consider it one of my favorites of 2009.