Cover image for Women aviators : 26 stories of pioneer flights, daring missions, and record-setting journeys / Karen Bush Gibson.
Women aviators : 26 stories of pioneer flights, daring missions, and record-setting journeys / Karen Bush Gibson.
First edition.
Physical Description:
234 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
PART 1: Pioneers of aviation. "Bird Woman" / Baroness de Laroche ; First woman to fly across the English Channel / Harriet Quimby ; Queen Bess / Bessie Coleman ; The woman who taught Amelia to fly / Neta Snook -- PART 2 : The golden age of flight. The most famous female aviator in the world / Amelia Earhart ; Women's Air Derby winner / Louise Thaden ; From service station to airfield / Bobbi Trout ; The Flying Flapper of Freeport / Elinor Smith ; Nothing could stop her from flying / Edna Gardner Whyte ; The first licensed Asian American woman pilot / Katherine Cheung ; African bush pilot crosses Atlantic / Beryl Markham ; Integrating the US Armed Forces / Willa Brown -- PART 3 : Wartime and military flying. Women pilots can make a difference / Jacqueline Cochran ; Determined WASP / Violet Cowden ; The Soviet Amelia Earhart / Valentina Grizodubova ; The world's first female test pilot / Hanna Reitsch -- PART 4 : All part of the job. Stunt flyer extraordinaire / Pancho Barnes ; Airline pilot captains / Lynn Rippelmeyer & Beverly Burns ; Air safety investigator / Wally Funk ; Aerobatic firefighter / Patty Wagstaff ; Polar bush pilot / Ingrid Pedersen -- PART 5 : Making a difference. Relief Wings in times of disaster / Ruth Nichols ; Promoting world friendship through flying / Fay Gillis Wells ; Helicopter flying for charity / Jennifer Murray ; Teaching children to fly / Ida Van Smith ; Missionary pilot / Jerrie Cobb.
Corporate Subject:
Profiles the lives and careers of twenty-six women who were pioneers in the field of aviation.


Material Type
Call Number
Item Available
Book 629.13092 GIB 1 1
Book 629.13092 GIB 0 1
Book 629.13092 GIB 1 1
Book TEEN 629.13092 GIB 1 1

On Order



A Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People From the very first days of aviation, women were there. Katherine Wright, though not a pilot, helped her brothers Orville and Wilbur so much that some called her the "Third Wright Brother." Pioneers such as Baroness Raymonde de Laroche of France ignored those who ignorantly claimed that only men possessed the physical strength or the mental capacity to pilot an airplane, and in 1910 became the first woman awarded a license to fly. A year later, Harriet Quimby was the first woman to earn a pilot's license in the United States and in 1912 flew across the English Channel--another first. Author Karen Bush Gibson profiles 26 women aviators who sought out and met challenges both in the sky and on the ground, where some still questioned their abilities. Read about barnstormers like Bessie Coleman and racers like Louise Thaden, who bested Amelia Earhart and Pancho Barnes to win the 1929 Women's Air Derby, sometimes called the Powder Puff Derby. Learn about Jacqueline Cochran who, during World War II, organized and trained the Women Airforce Service Pilots--the WASPs--to serve their country by ferrying airplanes from factories to the front lines and pulling target planes during anti-aircraft artillery training. And see how female pilots today continue to achieve and serve while celebrating their love of flight.

Author Notes

Karen Bush Gibson is the author of three dozen books for young readers, including Native American History for Kids .

Reviews 3

School Library Journal Review

Gr 7-10-At a time when flight schools did not accept female students, women paid for private lessons and persevered to overcome prejudice and mistaken beliefs that they were not strong enough or intelligent enough to fly airplanes. Five of the first six licensed women pilots were French, with the first one being Raymonde de Laroche in March 1910. The following year, photojournalist and world traveler Harriet Quimby was the first woman in the United States to earn a pilot's license; Bessie Coleman became the first African American with a license in 1921; the first Asian American was Catherine Cheung in 1932. Others profiled are Amelia Earhart and the woman who taught her to fly, Neta Snook, and Valentina Grizodubova, the "Soviet Amelia Earhart." Also outlined are specific achievements, including the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs), serving as air safety investigators, test pilots, aerial firefighters, bush pilots, and airline pilots. Each short biography begins with an introduction and a photo. This well-written volume is a solid contribution to women's history collections.-Patricia Ann Owens, formerly at Illinois Eastern Community Colleges, Mt. Carmel, IL (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

This collective biography profiles 26 women aviators from 1910 up to today. Most of the names will be unfamiliar with a few exceptions, among them Amelia Earhart, Beryl Markham and Bessie Coleman. The women are grouped into five time frames, providing context that defines the struggles, both physical and societal, that they faced as pilots. The book follows the format of others in the Women of Action series: Each minibio opens with a paragraph about its subject's accomplishment followed by a few, just-the-facts-ma'am pages about her life, a sidebar of relevant information and one photo, ending with a short bibliography. The 20 additional pages of backmatter that cite resources are indicative of the academic approach and the perfunctory writing style. While there is a hangar full of information here, the black-and-white interior (only the cover is in color) lacks reader appeal. Jeannine Atkins and Dusan Petricic's Wings and Rockets: The Story of Women in Air and Space (2003) has a bit more energy. Overall, a sensible if staid survey; its strength is in its breadth. (notes, glossary, bibliography, index [not seen]) (Collective biography. 12 up)]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

When one thinks of female aviators, some obvious names come to mind. And while, yes, Amelia Earhart is included here, this collective biography highlights the lives of lesser-known but no less influential fliers such as Louise Thaden, the winner of the 1929 Women's Air Derby, and Jacqueline Cochran, who organized the Women Airforce Service Pilots during WWII. Using plenty of primary sources, Gibson features 26 aviators who pioneered early aerial achievements, served their country in wartime, and used their aviation skills to help relief efforts and charities. Biographies are organized into chapters according to types of achievement, and each includes a bibliography, many with web links, for readers to learn more. Photographs accompany each flier's life story. The collection is wide reaching in its time frame, representing the very earliest pilots through the Cold War. Women aviators represent some of the most admirable of traits fearlessness, defiance of outmoded stereotypes, and intelligence and their collected stories make for high-interest reading.--Anderson, Erin Copyright 2010 Booklist

Table of Contents

Baroness de LarocheHarriet QuimbyBessie ColemanNeta SnookAmelia EarhartLouise ThadenBobbi TroutElinor SmithEdna Gardner WhyteKatherine CheungBeryl MarkhamWilla BrownJacqueline CochranViolet CowdenValentina GrizodubovaHanna ReitschPancho BarnesLynn Rippelmeyer and Beverly BurnsWally FunkPatty WagstaffIngrid PedersenRuth NicholsFay Gillis WellsJennifer MurrayIda Van SmithJerrie Cobb
Introductionp. 1
Part I Pioneers of Aviationp. 5
"Bird Woman"p. 8
First Woman to Fly Across the English Channelp. 16
Queen Bessp. 25
The Woman Who Taught Amelia to Flyp. 32
Part II The Golden Age of Flightp. 41
The Most Famous Female Aviator in the Worldp. 46
Women's Air Derby Winnerp. 55
From Service Station to Airfieldp. 61
The Flying Flapper of Freeportp. 67
Nothing Could Stop Her from Flyingp. 72
The First Licensed Asian American Woman Pilotp. 79
African Bush Pilot Crosses Atlanticp. 84
Integrating the US Armed Forcesp. 90
Part III Wartime and Military Flyingp. 97
Women Pilots Can Make a Differencep. 103
Determined WASPp. 111
The Soviet Amelia Earhartp. 118
The World's First Female Test Pilotp. 125
Part IV All Part of the Jobp. 133
Stunt Flyer Extraordinairep. 136
Airline Pilot Captainsp. 142
Air Safety Investigatorp. 148
Aerobatic Firefighterp. 155
Polar Bush Pilotp. 161
Part V Making a Differencep. 167
Relief Wings in Times of Disasterp. 172
Promoting World Friendship through Flyingp. 179
Helicopter Flying for Charityp. 186
Teaching Children to Flyp. 192
Missionary Pilotp. 197
Acknowledgmentsp. 203
Notesp. 205
Glossaryp. 211
Bibliographyp. 217
Indexp. 225