Soar Elinor!

Soar-Elinor-Final-CoverHow will you celebrate Women’s History Month? Download a free Women’s History Month activity kit with a board game, seek and find, and more. (PDF download)

When old timers said airplanes are for men and boys ten-year-old Elinor Smith didn’t listen. When they said she couldn’t fly under New York’s East River bridges she said “Yes, I can!” Elinor climbed into the cockpit, broke world records and became a teenaged test pilot.

SOAR, ELINOR! is the true story of daring pioneer pilot Elinor Smith. It’s beautiful illustrations were painted by Francois Roca and it was published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux ISBN 978-0374371159

SOAR, ELINOR! was named one of the Washington Post’s Best Children’s Books of 2010 and selected as one of 2011′s top 10 feminist books for children by the American Library Association’s Amelia Bloomer Project . It is a 2011 National Children’s Book Council/National Council for the Social Studies Notable Book for Young People.

In 1930, The New Yorker Magazine said “(F)eminism would do rather well to claim Miss Smith.”

Elinor Smith wasn’t just an aviation pioneer. She blazed a trail for women to be treated the same as men in the air and on the ground. What did it mean to be a feminist in 1930– and what does it mean today? Download a free Women’s History Month activity kit with a board game, seek and find, and more. (PDF download)

You can visit a Bellanca plane Elinor flew on line or in person at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia.

Interviews? Vocabulary? Geography? Prose and poetry writing? Reading Comprehension? Fun, teacher and kid friendly SOAR, ELINOR! activities, keyed to current curriculum standards, including projects and discussion starters for older kids. Download the free curriculum guide here. (PDF download)

Elinor had her own weekly radio show. Click her publicity poster to connect to a 1920′s radio station with songs from the roaring 20′s.

Come into the cockpit!  Click this photo of an airshow at Roosevelt Field to connect to live broadcasts from air traffic control all over the U.S.

365 Days of Fantastic Female Flying Feats! Find my calendar of women’s aviation achievements here.

Actual newsreel footage of Elinor smashing the endurance record!

And more newsreels- Elinor flies high, achieving an altitude record!

“Look out Amelia Earhart… Debut author Brown skillfully builds suspense as Elinor studies each bridge, plans her route, and takes flight, leading to a nail-biting conclusion.”
– Publishers Weekly Starred Review

“Brown’s prose is crystalline, lively and reads well aloud. Roca captures the air and sky beautifully”
– Kirkus

“Some people were born to fly, and Elinor Smith (1911-2010) was one of them. In her assured picture-book debut, Tami Lewis Brown introduces Elinor as a 6-year-old begging to ride in a biplane…[A]erial feats to merit a sequel to this book.”
– Washington Post

“The language of Washington author Tami Lewis Brown spins and soars in this picture-book biography of pioneering aviatrix Elinor Smith…”
– Washington Parent

“This is an excellent introduction to a lesser-known but fascinating adventurer.”
— School Library Journal

“Inspiration soars from every page.”
— Booklist

Junior Library Guild Selection and featured in Kirkus’ Fall Preview Supplement!

Fantastic reviews are rolling in for the French edition L’INCROYABLE EXPLOIT D’ELINORElinor Smith, née pour voler (Elinor Smith, born to fly) from Belgium’s Le Soir.

Vertigineux! (Breathtaking!) from France’s Telerama.

Un livre qui donne des ailes (A book that gives wings) from France’s Le Journal des Enfants


An Interview with Tami Lewis Brown

surprised-tamiHow did you get the idea for SOAR, ELINOR?

I grew up in a family of pilots—my dad, my mom and even my little sister flew small planes—so it feels like I’ve always “known” pioneer aviatrix Elinor Smith. Elinor was a record breaking pilot who did some of her most amazing flying as a teenager. Early one morning, while my eyes were still closed,  the words SOAR ELINOR hit me, almost commanding me to tell Elinor’s story.