Fearless Flyer: Ruth Law and Her Flying Machine by Heather Lang, illustrated by Raúl Colón [in Booklist]
It’s true: “When Ruth Law made up her mind, there was no use trying to stop her.” With tenacious aplomb, Law announced that she would fly from Chicago to New York in one day – a distance, in 1916, that had never before been attempted. Never mind that Law’s longest stretch until then was 25 miles, nor that her “flimsy flying machine” only held 16 gallons when she needed hundreds; she would simply make “a few adjustments” and get going.
That she was a woman had naysayers shouting “impossible,” but on a windy November morning, Law flew off to make history: “I wouldn’t give a cent for any experience that didn’t scare me a little.”
This is Heather Lang’s third title celebrating courageous, barrier-breaking women who deserve to be better known. Here Lang gives Law ample opportunity to voice her own words, enhancing most pages with Law’s quotes in a cursive blue font. Raúl Colón’s signature pointillist style produces a warm, autumnal palette of golds and browns and is an ideal complement to Lang’s text, allowing for both detailed close-ups and vast landscapes. Together, Lang and Colón ensure Law a magnificent, long-overdue flight from history straight into the present.