Monday, July 23, 2007

27. First to Fly: How Wilbur & Orvill Wright Invented the Airplane by Peter Busby


Nonfiction book annotation
By: Angela Wilcox

32 pages



Busby, P. (2002). First to fly: How Wilbur & Orville Wright invented the airplane. New York: Crown Books for Young Readers.

Author Creditability: Busby has written two novels, a dozen screenplays, and has co-written several nonfiction books. This was his first book for children. He had Fred E. C. Culick as a historical consultant for this book. At the time this book was written, Culick was a professor of mechanical engineering at the California Institute of Technology and a leading specialist in aeronautics.

Summary: This oversized book tells the biography of the Wright brothers. It provides photos and diagrams to help the reader understand just who these brothers were. This book takes the reader on a journey from the brothers’ childhood all the way up to their separate deaths and informs the reader of all the different challenges they faced at different times in the flying process and development.

Most Important Access Features: This book has a prologue that builds the readers’ schema a draws the reader into the book. There are archives of photos from the Wright family and a telegram sent by the brothers when they had flown at Kitty Hawk. There are also heading, diagrams, and labels to help the reader understand everything dealing with flying. There are a couple of inset text boxes that explains the scientifics of the process of flying. In the back of the book there is an epilogue, timeline of important dates, glossary, bibliography, picture credits, and index to help the reader better understand this book and the Wright brothers.

Description of Illustrations: This book contains several different types of illustrations all of which enhance the understanding of the Wright brothers and their life. The paintings were done by David Craig. Most of the archival photographs are from the Wright Brothers Collection located at the Wright State University Special Collections and Archives. The other archives were collected from various sources and are credited at the back of the book. The diagrams were done by Jack McMaster a mechanical engineer/aeronautics expert.

Grade Level & Uses: K-8; This book would be appropriate to use while studying the history of flight and the Wright brothers or inventors. The teacher would have to read the text to the lower grades and help the read the book since the layout is not done like a traditional storybook.

Standards: Social Studies: Time, Continuity, Change; Science, Technology, and Society

Related Texts & How Related: The following books could be used with First to Fly: How Wilbur & Orville Wright Invented the Airplane to do a unit on flying or inventors.

How Ben Franklin Stole the Lightning by Rosalyn Schanzer
My Brothers’ Flying Machine: Wilbur, Orville, and Me by Jane Yolen
To Fly: The Story of the Wright Brothers by Wendie Old
Eureka! Great Inventions & How They Happened by Richard Platt
Mistakes That Worked by Charlotte Jones
The Wright Brothers for Kids: How They Invented the Airplane by Mary Kay Carson

Quality/Awards:
None known

Personal Response to Book: I liked the layout of this book. It made it very easy to understand about the Wright brothers. I never found them interesting when I read about them in a textbook. This book helped to open up a whole new side of them for me.

2 comments:

Tassie Rosamond said...

Did this book explain the dynamics of flying? I think that if you could find a children's book that explains flight on a level they could understand, it would be great!

Debbie Vanderford said...

I loved the cover of this book. It looks inviting to children. I'm wondering the same thing that Tassie asked. It would be great if the dynamics of flight could be explained in a simple way that younger children could understand. This would start laying the foundation for physics.