Two intrepid librarians

Two intrepid librarians review the best nonfiction books for children

Friday, October 27, 2023

Tiny Jumper: How Tiny Broadwick Created the Parachute Rip Cord by Candy Dahl

Tiny Jumper: How Tiny Broadwick Created the Parachute Rip Cord

By Candy Dahl; Illustrated by Maithili Joshi

little bee books. 2023

Tiny Jumper tells the story of Georgia Ann Thompson. Nicknamed Tiny because of her small statute - she never reached five feet in height. This Tiny Jumper had courage, huge courage, and determination who followed her dreams of becoming the first woman to use a parachute.

Born on April 8, 1893, Georgia Ann Thompson was only three pounds at birth and nicknamed, Tiny. Growing up before child labor laws, Tiny found her self working in cotton mills to help her family financially. Every day, after working in a noisy, dusty factory, Tiny, “would climb to a treetop to get away from everything and imagine rising UP…far away from fields and mills.”

Tiny was determined and in 1907, after seeing a man float down to earth using a silk parachute, knew being an aeronaut was her life calling.

“When I saw that balloon go up, and I gawked at it as it ascended into the heavens, I knew I’d never be the same.”

In 1908, Tiny began touring with Charles Broadwick, he legally adopted her, “so it would be deemed proper for her to travel with him.”  She made her first jump from a hot-air balloon.  By age twenty, Tiny was the first woman to parachute from an airplane (1913), and, in 1914, created the rip cord after her parachute line became tangled in the plane’s tail while demonstrating for the United States Amy Air-Corps.

Though she broke arms, shoulders, ankles, and feet, Tiny never gave up until she was forced to retire at age twenty-nine because of her ankles. 

Included is an author’s note with some photos of Tiny Broadwick, and a selected bibliography. Placed in a darker colored text block throughout the book are quotes from Broadwick, though there are no source notes to show where the author got those quotes. 

This is a very exciting informational picture book about an extraordinary woman. The full page illustrations by Joshi complement the text.

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