Sky Sailors

Sky Sailors

True Stories of the Balloon Era

By David Bristow

Farrar Straus Giroux, Hardcover, 9780374370145, 134pp.

Publication Date: September 28, 2010


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, "Sky Sailors" by David L. Bristow presents the stories of the pioneers of human flight, such as daredevil Sophie Blanchard from Napoleon's France, and Salomon Andree, who lead an aerial assault on the North Pole in 1897.

About the Author
DAVID BRISTOW is a travel journalist and environmental scientist. He's been exploring South Africa since his early teens by hitch-hiking, hiking, flying and by bicycle. He also surfs and has a close relationship with his mountain bike. David has a BJourn (hons) from Rhodes University in Grahamstown, SA, and an MA in environmental sciences from Cape Town University, SA. David was born and bred in South Africa and has covered Africa, mostly south of the equator, for the past 20 as a travel and nature writer and a photographer. For 15 years he was editor of Africa's top-selling travel magazine Getaway. His main interest, besides environmental issues, is seeking out new and exciting places for adventures although comfort is never eschewed. David has authored more than a dozen books on on South and southern Africa, climbed Africa's 10 highest peaks (among others) and scuba dived on most of the best sites around Africa and the Indian Ocean islands.

Praise For Sky Sailors

“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