Wilbur Wright Meets Lady Liberty by Robert Burleigh, illustrated by Wendell Minor

Published by Henry Holt and Co.

Wilbur Wright Meets Lady Liberty | Robert Burleigh | Macmillan
Wilbur Wright Meets Lady Liberty | Robert Burleigh | Macmillan

Summary:  On September 29, 1909, Wilbur Wright flew for six and a half minutes around the Statue of Liberty, the first time either of the Wright Brothers had flown over a body of water.  His feat was witnessed by a large crowd of New Yorkers, including 10-year-old Juan Trippe, whose conversation with his father bookends the main narrative of this story; Trippe would grow up to found Pan Am Airways.  The story is supplemented by extensive back matter, including an author’s note with additional information about the Wright Brothers and their New York flights (a few days later, Wilbur took a longer flight down the Hudson River).  There’s also a list of facts about other aspects of the story, an illustrator’s note, and a bibliography.  Front end papers show a newspaper article reporting the event, and back papers show a map of the flight.  40 pages; grades K-5.

Pros:  This veteran author-illustrator team has created a picture book that perfectly captures the tension and excitement of Wilbur Wright’s flight, while also conveying the peacefulness of flying.  The extensive back matter adds a lot of information, and is written in a way that is accessible to younger readers.

Cons:  I wish the back matter had included a few photos.

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