Thematic Reading List: National Aviation Week
Planes, planes, planes! Aviation has changed the course of human communication and motion, led by brave pioneers who made air travel what it is today. From these important people to the aircraft they piloted, these books are selected to inspire and educate readers as they investigate each one. This list includes primarily non-fiction titles written for newly independent readers aged 6-8.
Contributed by: Mary Lanni
By: Amy Shields
How cool is a supersonic jet that can zip, dip, and zoom through the air? Or a helicopter that hovers as still as a hummingbird? In this 32-page beginning reader, a real-life pilot introduces kids to the greatest planes that ever flew. Enticing photographs and fascinating facts ensure that a child’s natural curiosity is both inspired AND satisfied. Like each book in this successful series, Planes offers a high-excitement topic from a trusted content provider.
By: Tessa Kenan
In Planes, emergent readers learn about planes and how they’re used as a mode of transportation. The carefully crafted text uses high-frequency words, repetitive sentence patterns, and strong visual references to support emergent readers, ensuring reading success by making sure they aren’t facing too many challenges at once.
By: Julie Murray
Introduces airplanes, discussing the parts and uses of passenger airplanes.
By: Lisa Ann Marsoli
Planes follows Dusty Crophopper a big-hearted speed-loving crop duster who dreams of competing in the toughest and most exhilarating around the world air race in history. With the support of friends old and new, Dusty reaches heights he never dreamed possible and in the process inspires a world to soar.
By: Chris Oxlade
Brief text and photographs explain what planes are, describe different types of planes, and examine how they developed and how they are used.
By: George Ella Lyon
Illustrated by: Mick Wiggins
Illustrations and easy-to-read rhyming text celebrate different kinds of planes, their instruments, what they carry, and what it is like to go for a flight.
By: Dana Meachen Rau
Describes the physical attributes, different kinds, and purposes of planes.
|How to Build a Plane
By: Saskia Lacey
Illustrated by: Martin Sodomka
Three unlikely friends–Eli, a mouse; Phoebe, a sparrow; and Hank, a frog–decide to build a small plane together. The story follows the friendly trio as they learn all about how a plane flies and how it is constructed. Detailed illustrations show the inner workings of a plane, teaching children the basics of how each part works together to get the plane flying.
By: Frank Berrios
With the support of friends old and new, Dusty Crophopper reaches heights he never dreamed possible.
|Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
By: Mike Lemanski
Depicts one hundred iconic vehicles and innovative examples from transportation history presented in a timeline that can be read back to front, top to bottom, and right to left.
|Let’s Look at Planes
By: Let’s Go Series
Simple text and labeled illustrations provide brief descriptions of airplanes, from the plane that flew the first powered flight in 1903 to supersonic jets that can fly from London to New York in three hours.
|Speedy Jet Planes
By: Frances Ridley
This book contains 550 words, suitable for children who are growing in reading ability but still lack confidence.
|Amelia Earhart: Aviation Pioneer
By: Grace Hansen
Takes readers on a journey with Amelia Earhart, from her birth in Kansas to becoming one of the most famous aviators of all time.
|Daredevil: The Daring Life of Betty Skelton
By: Meghan McCarthy
An introduction to the life of the mid-twentieth-century aviation and auto racing pioneer describes her fascination with vehicles during childhood and the daring achievements that earned her the title, “First Lady of Firsts.”
By: Ashleigh Hally
Profiles the life and career of Jackie Cochran, one of the best women pilots in history, who was voted into the Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame.
|A Voyage in the Clouds: The (mostly) true story of the first international flight by balloon in 1785
By: Matthew Oshan
Illustrated By: Sophie Blackall
A picture book inspired by the true story of how the first international flight was an Englishman and a Frenchman who rode in a balloon across the English Channel.
By: Tami Lewis Brown
Illustrated By: Fran Cois Roca
Elinor Smith, who first flew in a “flying machine” when she was six, earns her aviation license at the age of sixteen in 1928, and when male pilots and newspapermen mock her abilities, she performs the daring maneuver of flying under all four of New York City’s East River bridges.
|Miss Todd and her Wonderful Flying Machine
By: Kristina Yee and Frances Poletti
The real-life story of Miss Lily Todd, the first woman in the world to build and design an airplane. The story is set at the turn of the century when the world is awakening to the possibilities of the flying machine. One young woman, Miss Lily Todd, is inspired and she’ll do whatever it takes to fly. But oh, no, no, no! At a time when becoming sky-born is already a challenge, Lily has more than gravity holding her down.
|The Wright Brothers
By: Pamela Duncan Edwards and Henry Cole
Cumulative text in the style of “The House that Jack Built” describes the series of events that led to the Wright Brothers’ historic flight.