While American women were fighting for their right to vote, Blanche Stuart Scott asserted her right to fly. She had always been a daredevil and couldn't resist the temptation of traveling at incredible speeds and heights. So despite the dangers associated with early flight, public disapproval, and the forbidding attitude of men, Blanche took to the air. She became the first woman to fly a plane in public in America.
After Blanche's launch into aviation, other women surpassed her feats by flying solo across the English Channel and the Atlantic Ocean -- and even racing through space. But the contributions Blanche made were significant. Julie Cummins's engaging biography celebrates an aviation pioneer whose spunky, courageous personality helped her successors' dreams take flight.
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Stories of all sorts have always been an important part of Julie Cummins's life. In addition to serving as the coordinator of children's services for the New York Public Library, she has written numerous books, journal articles, and book reviews. Julie and husband Blair Cummins live in New York City.From Publishers Weekly:
Cummins's (Wings of an Artist) swiftly moving biography of this little-known female aviation pioneer may well thrill fans of both flying and firsts. At the turn of the century, most young women in Blanche Stuart Scott's place in society were relegated to genteel tea parties. Blanche, however, sought speed and thrills at age 13 in 1902, her father gave her an automobile in which she terrorized the streets of Rochester, N.Y. Cummins effectively conveys Blanche's impetuous character through her quotes and her deeds, from taking a job as an automobile saleswoman after college, to planning what she thought would be the first transcontinental driving trip by a woman (Alice Ramsey beat her to it), to becoming the first woman in America to fly a plane in public. Blanche would reach many milestones. She not only performed daring stunts in the big air shows (where she earned the nickname "Tomboy of the Air") but also starred in an early motion picture called The Aviator's Bride. Not everyone was supportive of her talents: she survived several attempts on her life by jealous competitors or critics convinced women should not fly. Several threads will particularly appeal to readers, such as Blanche's unwavering belief in her lucky red sweater. Through the life of this one woman, Cummins portrays an era of rapid change and society's view of a woman's place in it. Period black-and-white photos and prints enhance the narrative. Ages 8-14.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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