Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Wings and Rockets: The Story of Women in Air and Space

Wings and Rockets: The Story of Women in Air and Space

Jeannine Atkins
Illustrator:  Dusan Petricic 
For ages 10 to 12
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2003   ISBN: 978-0374384500

Probably the most remarkable thing about the women and girls whose stories fill these pages is that they all had dreams so far beyond those of their peers. They saw something in the skies that offered so much more, and they wouldn’t take no for an answer. All too often we forget about the work of those who went before and who blazed the trails for us. This engrossing and very personal book helps us remember all those wonderful women who opened up the heavens for those of us who want to fly.

What makes this particular book so successful is that many of the stories are told from the point of view of the principal characters. We feel the disappointments and the elations, the loss and the grief that those women felt. We hear their voices as clearly as if they were talking to us over the phone and it is this warm personal touch that makes this book work so well. At the end of each part of the book there is a historical section which gives the reader a sense of what happened after the events they just read about. Here you will find the answers to such questions as: What happened to Bessie Coleman? When did women get accepted into the Air Force officially?

The author clearly has a deep felt admiration for these heroines of the skies. Her enthusiasm and appreciation for their historic achievements comes through loud and clear to make this a book that is hard to put down.