A few weeks ago, at Virginia Festival of the Book, I stopped by the James River Writers
table to say hello to Anne Westrick.
There I met author Tami Lewis Brown
who was visiting with Anne. Tami would appear later on the "Spinning Lives Into Stories" panel sponsored by SCBWI.
Tami told me about her debut book, Soar, Elinor!
‚ a biography about Elinor Smith who, in 1928 when she was sixteen, became the youngest flier ever licensed.
The book looked pretty interesting, so I bought a copy. Later I went to the panel where Tami was speaking. There I learned she was a pilot and a former lawyer. And I learned about the meticulous research she did for Soar, Elinor!
At home, I couldn't wait to read Soar, Elinor!
It's wonderful. It's the kind of book that parents and teachers
will enjoy reading to young children and that older children will enjoy reading by themselves. Besides telling a good story, the book is also an important record of history. Plus it sends the message that children should follow their dreams.
True to the standard of a good children's book, every word indeed earned its keep. Tami focused her story on a significant event in Elinor's life—when the young pilot flew her Waco 10 under four bridges in New York's East River. The suspense as Elinor attempted each bridge was delicious.
The cats found the book almost as interesting as I did. Chloe checks the title page where Tami signed it.
The artwork by Francois Roca is lovely. Chloe wanted to get right into the picture.
Jim-Bob didn't want to get too close. He thought the plane looked so real that it might soar off the page.
Chloe thought so too. But she wanted a closer look.
She had to check the propeller on the plane in this picture to make sure it wasn't turning.
Chloe and I were impressed with the author's notes and the list of sources in the back of the book. Tami tells about how she researched the book to make it authentic and gives a list of recommended books just in case the reader wants to know more.
Chloe studied the pages from a couple of angles.
Chloe read about how Tami had met Elinor Smith and her son. Chloe was impressed how Tami and her own son took a flight in a plane similar to Elinor's.
Chloe, however, has no urge to fly. But she and I think you should read Soar, Elinor!
because it's really good.