During the Great Depression, the ace black pilot James Banning decided to fly from coast to coast to serve as an inspiration to people everywhere. Read more...
During the Great Depression, the ace black pilot James Banning decided to fly from coast to coast to serve as an inspiration to people everywhere. So with a little ingenuity and a whole lot of heart, he fixed up the dilapidated OXX6 Eagle Rock plane with his co-pilot and mechanic, Thomas Allen, earning them the derisive nickname, The Flying Hobos. But with the help of friends and family along the way who signed their names on the wings of the plane in exchange for food, fuel and supplies, Banning and Allen made it through treacherous weather and overcame ruthless prejudice to receive a heroes welcome upon landing in New York on October 9, 1932.
This exceptional story of determination and pride, shown through John Holyfield s energetic flight scenes and sweeping landscapes, will put you in the cockpit right alongside Banning and Allen as they complete the journey of a lifetime."
- ISBN-13: 9780399247897
- ISBN-10: 0399247890
- Publisher: Putnam Publishing Group
- Publish Date: January 2010
- Page Count: 32
- Reading Level: Ages 5-8
- Dimensions: 9.5 x 10.1 x 0.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.85 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 60.
- Review Date: 2009-12-21
- Reviewer: Staff
This high-spirited collaboration re-creates the historic flight of James Banning, the first African-American pilot to fly across the continental United States. Bildner (co-creator of the Sluggers series) chronicles this feat in the voice of Thomas Allen, Banning's mechanic and copilot on the 1932 flight from Los Angeles to New York City. Propelled by breezy dialogue, including repeated cries of “Hallelujah!”, the story opens as Banning announces how they'll fund the trip: those who donate food, fuel, and supplies along the way can write their names on the wings of the open-cockpit plane (“They'll fly into the history books right along with us!”). Dubbed the Flying Hoboes by skeptical colleagues, the duo completes their mission despite such hurdles as a leaky engine pump, a fierce storm, and racial prejudice. Rendered in acrylic paint, Holyfield's (Bessie Smith and the Night Riders) stylized paintings help this saga get off the ground effortlessly (night scenes, often lit in blue, take on the feel of movie posters). Especially uplifting is the image of the copilots saluting the sunlit Statue of Liberty from their plane, its wings crowded with signatures. Ages 5–8. (Jan.)