Higher, Steeper, Faster: The Daredevils Who Conquered the Skies — 5 Comments

  1. I very much struggled trying to read this book. The layout of the book was not “reader-friendly”. I feel there was too much information presented in the book and that it will lose the attention of many of our young readers. This is a book that I do not see being checked out from the library very often. I would only give this book 2 stars **

  2. This book was dense with a lot of historical facts on the early inventors and fliers. It was interesting to me but I think a middle schooler or younger would likely get bogged down by the heavy details unless they had a strong adventurous spirit or already knew they loved flying! I did think of a couple (young adult) cousins of mine that fly commercial airplanes and helicopters and think that THEY would really like this book. The timeline was very detailed; the information, very thorough. I sure learned about a lot more than the Wright brothers ( and a lot more about them than I had known in the past as well). Also thorough bibliography in the back that could definitely be a model when teaching students how to cite their sources.

  3. This book was very hard for me to read. Non-fiction is not my favorite and I struggled trying to up with all the information. I did purchase all the books on our reading list and this is one I am not too thrilled about the purchase. I feel like kids will have a hard time keeping the names of pilots and information gathered may be overwhelming. I know a student who is into planes and he may enjoy it, some of the information was interesting but I have a hard time when I am not completely sucked in. So this was one of the harder books to finish. 2 stars **

  4. This book was my first non-fiction book to read. It felt like a slower denser read. I am thankful for the correct information about the Wright Brothers, and was surprised to read about how the Wright Brothers did not want to show their airplane, for fear that others would copy and get credit for being the first pilots. The majority of the book covered courageous or crazy pilots–you decide. They didn’t use seat belts for a long while in the beginning, and some of them were constantly doing tricks in the air, to attract more viewers. Once in, I thoroughly enjoyed the stories of the pilots with their big personalities, who did indeed pave the way for modern aviation! 4 stars. ****

  5. Wow, is a lot crammed into this book! This was an in depth look at the years leading up to and after the first successful flights. It was crammed with information, but still had a high level of readability. It also did a nice job of contextualizing the history and motivations for the race to develop air vehicles.
    Personally, I struggled to keep the names and histories of the pilots and major players straight, and more than once flipped back in the book to review someone. Lots of photos and graphics of contemporary ads kept it from becoming too dense, but I also found the written asides to be unnecessary except perhaps as a way to engage a browser paging through. I would say that it is a good choice to introduce kids to nonfiction, but it is less likely to inspire voracious reading because of the rotation from larger historical context, to persons, to technology, to brief stories, etc. The topic is multifaceted, meaning one story as a through-line is challenging and it scatters the narrative to cover so much. Then again, it’s a good way to open a discussion about how complex recording history is, and what gets written or remembered, and why.

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