Sky Sailors

True Stories of the Balloon Era

By David L. Bristow
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR), Hardcover, 9780374370145, 144pp.)

Publication Date: September 28, 2010

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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.

About the Author

DAVID L. BRISTOW is also the author of A Dirty, Wicked Town: Tales of 19th Century Omaha. He is associate director for research and publications at the Nebraska State Historical Society and editor of Nebraska History Magazine. He lives in Lincoln, Nebraska. Sky Sailors is his first children's book.

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

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More than 150 writers from 40 events will gather in New York City for PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature, April 28 – May 4, 2014.

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