Taking Off: Airborne with Mary Wilkins Ellis

Holiday House/Margaret Ferguson. Feb. 2022. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780823449668.
Gr 3-6–The personality and details of Mary Wilkins Ellis’s story fly off the page in this illustrated biography of her life, from her first ride in an airplane to her work in the Air Transport Auxiliary during the first world war. McCully recounts Ellis’s life in a very matter of fact way that will suit the upper elementary readers who can handle longer paragraphs and don’t need flourishes in the prose. The gorgeous end papers of various airplanes set the tone; the watercolor and ink illustrations spotlight and punctuate the text that recounts the highs and lows of this intrepid woman. Ellis’s story is an important one in history, and back matter gives readers more information if they are seeking it.
VERDICT Add to all biography collections looking for more military-era women’s history.

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