Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Wright Brothers and the airplane

The Wright Brothers and the airplane

Xavier Niz
Illustrator:  Steve Erwin , Keith Williams , Charles Barnett III 
Nonfiction Graphic Novel  Series
For ages 7 to 9
Capstone Press, 2007   ISBN: 978-0736868457

When they were still children Orville and Wilbur Wright became interested in flight. As they grew older they followed the stories of aviation pioneers with interest. After building bicycles for their own business, and having plenty of experience inventing things, the brothers decided that they would see if they could find a way to create a flying machine that had controlled flight. Other inventors had been able to make gliders that flew but they could not control where their machines went once they were up in the air.

The first breakthrough Orville and Wilbur made was when Wilbur came up with the idea of building wings that could warp, and that could therefore be used to steer the flying machine.

After building and trying out several small test gliders, the brothers went to the Outer Banks off the coast of North Carolina to try out larger gliders that could carry a person. Though they found the solution to one problem, other difficulties arose as they flew their gliders off the big sand dunes. There were times when the brothers wondered if they were chasing a pipe dream. Would powered flight every be possible?

In this engaging and well written title the author helps his readers to see how hard the Wright brothers had to work to build a working engine-powered flying machine. By combining the text with comic book style artwork that covers every page, the publisher has created a splendid title to introduce young readers to the story of the Wright brothers.