Brave Harriet: The First Woman to Fly the English Channel

by Marissa Moss and C.F. Payne

The first American woman to receive a pilot’s license was a newspaper writer... read more

The first American woman to receive a pilot’s license was a newspaper writer named Harriet Quimby. This spirited, fictionalized, first-person narrative tells of that feat, and of Harriet’s determination to be the first woman to fly solo across the English Channel. Friend and fellow pilot Gustav Hamel discourages Harriet, offering to fly disguised as her so she can claim the credit. But Harriet responds, “ 'A hero’s welcome for a fraud! No thank you! You may be worried about what I can do but I’m not!’” Harriet was successful in her attempt, finding the experience of flying over water beautiful and exhilarating. However, her claim to fame was lost in the furor over another huge news story that occurred the same day — the sinking of the Titanic. The full-color illustrations show Harriet’s flight from ever-changing perspectives. (Ages 5–8)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2002

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