The Wright Brothers: A Flying Start


32 pages
Contains Photos, Index
ISBN 1-55074-935-8
DDC j629.13'0092'273





Illustrations by Barbara Spurll
Reviewed by Elizabeth Fisher

Elizabeth Fisher is a former elementary-school principal in Toronto, who
spent 10 years as a teacher-librarian.


“About 100 years ago, in just 12 seconds, the world changed forever.
On December 17, 1903, near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, Wilbur and
Orville Wright made the first controlled, powered flight. The Wrights’
airplane, or flying machine as it was called then, traveled only 36 m
(120 ft.)—a little more than half the length of a pro-hockey
rink—but the brothers had achieved something that no one else had.”

This engaging biography describes the lives of the two Wright brothers,
whose inquiring minds led to the production of innovative designs
throughout their lives. The reader comes to know the brothers not only
as the inventors of successful powered flight, but also as two devoted
siblings from a close-knit family. Although devastated by Wilbur’s
early death, Orville continued to design and experiment, and he lived to
witness jet propulsion and the breaking of the sound barrier.

The book’s well-designed pages feature photographs, cartoonlike
figures, and diagrams that are linked to the accompanying text by means
of arrows and lines. The visual images work well in illustrating their
lives. Quotes by the brothers are also used throughout. With timelines
and Web site contacts provided, this well-written book is an excellent
source for research on flight. Highly recommended.


MacLeod, Elizabeth., “The Wright Brothers: A Flying Start,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 19, 2024,