Review: Trailblazing Pilot

A solid biography for early elementary readers.

Advertisements

Bessie Coleman: Trailblazing Pilot (Rookie Biographies) by Carol Alexander.
Children’s Press, Scholastic, New York, 2016.
Picture book biography/early chapter book, 32 pages.
Lexile:  600L  .
AR Level:  3.4 (worth 0.5 points)  .
NOTE: Despite the reading level, these are typically used by first and second graders, or read aloud to younger students.

The life of Bessie Coleman, the first female African-American pilot.

Bessie Coleman Trailblazing Pilot cover resized
Rookie Biographies Bessie Coleman: Trailblazing Pilot by Carol Alexander.

Rookie Biographies is a series of books that use photographs and simple text to inform students about the lives of various historical and modern-day figures.  This series tends to be perfect for second or third graders to read independently, although I’ve also seen them used with higher or lower elementary school students.

Continue reading “Review: Trailblazing Pilot”

Review: Flygirl

“Sure, they’d only been around a few years, they were dangerous, and quite frankly, only a handful of colored people knew how to fly.” page 29

Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith.
Scholastic, New York, 2008.
YA historical fiction, 275 pages.
Lexile:  HL680L  ( What does HL mean in Lexile? )
AR Level:  4.3 (worth 11.0 points)  .

Ida Mae Jones just wants to fly.  But her mother’s dead set against her even going North to get her pilot’s license.  So using her light skin color to join the WASP shouldn’t even be an option, but Ida will do anything to get in the air and help her military brother.

Flygirl

Those of you who have been reading for a while will recall that I’m pretty tough on historical fiction.  I want it to be inclusive of diverse characters and perspectives, but also realistic.  (A character might be targeted with hateful language, but the author should also make clear that those words are wrong.)  Depending on the grade level, I’d also like it to be appropriate for the age recommended, not too graphic nor too idealistic for young readers.  And, of course, it should be well written and have an interesting plot and intriguing characters.

I’m happy to share that Flygirl succeeds on every count.

Continue reading “Review: Flygirl”