Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday-Flying Solo: How Ruth Elder Soared Into America's Heart

My Friend Alyson Beecher at Kid Lit Frenzy hosts weekly link up to share Nonfiction Picture Books. Please visit her amazing website. 

by Julie Cummins
Illustrated by Malene R. Laugesen
Published 2013 by Roaring Brook Press
32 Pages
Nonfiction Picture Book

Ruth Elder was a determined young woman in her early 20's when she became captivated by stories of Charles Lindbergh's flight across the Atlantic. This was before Amelia Earhart's famous flight. Elder became determined to be the first woman to complete the transatlantic flight. Even though women were thought to be meant to stay in the kitchen by most of society back then, Elder did not let it stop her from trying. Although her flight was unsuccessful, many admired her spunk and she became a national heroine, paving the way for many American female aviators.

My Thoughts
I love stories of "girl power" and determination to prove others wrong. Although I would have liked to know a bit more about Ruth Elder as a person, I enjoyed reading about her flying experiences. She is a great example of a woman with courage and determination. The illustrations are well done and reflective of the time period. The author includes an author's note and suggestions for further reading.

Use this book....
*as part of a biography unit.
*during an American history unit on the 1920's.
*as a mentor text to discuss character traits.

Find companion texts about other female aviators here.

Here is the real Ruth Elder
Image from rappnews.com

Although there is no audio, here is a video of Ruth Elder in Europe after her flight. 


  1. I've seen the book, but really have never heard of her, Gigi. Isn't it great that people are finding those women in our history who did great things, & then writing about them? Thanks for the review!

  2. I agree with Linda. Isn't it great that for whatever reason someone found someone's life fascinating enough to write about them? And thanks to you we find out about them again!

  3. That's a new one to me. Definitely a book I want to look for. Thanks for the info Gigi!

  4. I haven't read this one but love Amelia Earhart's Night Flight. Might be good to pair these 2 women up! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Wow! Ruth Elder looks beautiful. Will add this to my list of PBBs on pinterest. :)