For more than a century before airplanes, people explored the sky in balloons. From 1783 to the early 1900s, aeronauts flew into storms, crossed large bodies of water, sailed over enemy armies, and soared to deadly altitudes. Illustrated in full color with dramatuc period artwork, here are the stories of the pioneers of human flight, such as daredevil Sophie Blanchard from Napoleon's France, and Solmon Andree, who lead an aerial assault on the North Pole in 1897.
“The stories, divided by subheadings, are presented in chronological order (occasionally building on one another) and written in an anecdotal fashion with lots of dialogue and an emphasis on the strange, the dangerous, and the exciting.” –Horn Book
“An inviting title for kids making their first ascents into longer works of nonfiction.” –Starred, Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“Vivid detail, imaginative storytelling, and artwork from the period all make for a compelling account of a bygone time.” – School Library Journal
“This lively look at escapades of daring men--and a surprising number of women--who risked their lives flying in balloons will appeal to adventure, history and science buffs--and perhaps steampunk fans as well.” –Kirkus Reviews
“A quick but never uninteresting journey through a little-covered subject that is sure to inspire readers to search for more stories like these.” –Booklist
“Ah to be in a balloon. So peaceful, so quiet, seeing all below. This marvelous book tells you all about it.” —Michael Collins, Gemini 10 and Apollo 11 astronaut and author of Flying to the Moon: An Astronaut’s Story