Jack Knight’s Brave Flight: How One Gutsy Pilot Saved the U.S. Air Mail Service

Calkins Creek. Mar. 2022. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781684379811.
K-Gr 3–A hundred years ago, America’s lawmakers wanted to end air mail, due to the danger and expense; Jack Knight was one of the pilots who participated in a series of overnight flights to prove that air mail was faster than trains. Readers may rightly wonder if speedier mail service was more important than pilots’ lives, but Jack’s flights from Nebraska to Chicago, through fog and a blizzard, make an exciting story. The text maintains a tense, suspenseful pace, and the watercolor, ink, pencil, rubber stamp, and digital illustrations bring the journey to life with swirling snow in the dark sky and lights on the runways below. Extensive back matter includes an author’s note, photos, highlights in the history of the U.S. mail, bibliography, and illustrator’s note.
VERDICT This historical adventure has great appeal and may renew kids’ interest in the postal service; a valuable addition to nonfiction collections.

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