Two intrepid librarians

Two intrepid librarians review the best nonfiction books for children

Monday, April 8, 2024

Skybound! Starring Mary Myers as Carlotta Daredevil Aeronaut and Scientist Written by Sue Ganz-Schmitt

Skybound! Starring Mary Myers as Carlotta Daredevil Aeronaut and Scientist
Written by Sue Ganz-Schmitt; Illustrated by Iacopo Bruno
Calkins Creek, an Imprint of Astra Books for Young Readers. 2024

My youngest son's partner is a hot-air balloon enthusiast. She travels to different events around the world to participate in many aspects of ballooning. Even going up in them! So I was super excited to share this engaging story of Mary Myers, a.k.a. Carlotta, and her daredevil flight to collect scientific data on just how well the balloons she and her husband, Carl, designed. 

Just who was Mary Myers? 

Mary Myers was born Mary Breed Hawley on August 24, 1850, in Pennsylvania. From a very early age, Mary dreamed of flying. When ballooning came to the United States from France, Mary thought this might be her chance to get up in the air.

At age twenty-one, she met Carl Myers, a photographer, engineer, and scientist. Together, Mary and Carl developed a groundbreaking balloon fabric. Needing some scientific data to know which balloon shape performed best, "Mary and Carl realized they needed two flight professionals in one. Someone who could record scientific data and electrify the paying crowds at fairs. (Building better balloons cost money, after all!)

After her thrilling solo flight, her career as Carlotta, Lady Aeronaut, began.

Beautiful illustrations, done in colored inks on paper, are historically accurate and mirror what is being discussed in the text. 

Backmatter includes more about Carlotta, a timeline, and a selected bibliography and suggested reading.

This appealing picture book biography will have readers of all ages dreaming of their endless possibilities. 

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