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Science Comics: Flying Machines: How the Wright Brothers Soared

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A National Science Teachers Association Best STEM Books of 2017 Take to the skies with Flying Machines! Follow the famous aviators from their bicycle shop in Dayton, Ohio, to the fields of North Carolina where they were to make their famous flights. In an era of dirigibles and hot air balloons, the Wright Brothers were among the first innovators of heavier than air flight. B A National Science Teachers Association Best STEM Books of 2017 Take to the skies with Flying Machines! Follow the famous aviators from their bicycle shop in Dayton, Ohio, to the fields of North Carolina where they were to make their famous flights. In an era of dirigibles and hot air balloons, the Wright Brothers were among the first innovators of heavier than air flight. But in the hotly competitive international race toward flight, Orville and Wilbur were up against a lot more than bad weather. Mechanical failures, lack of information, and even other aviators complicated the Wright Brothers’ journey. Though they weren’t as wealthy as their European counterparts, their impressive achievements demanded attention on the international stage. Thanks to their carefully recorded experiments and a healthy dash of bravery, the Wright Brothers’ flying machines took off.


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A National Science Teachers Association Best STEM Books of 2017 Take to the skies with Flying Machines! Follow the famous aviators from their bicycle shop in Dayton, Ohio, to the fields of North Carolina where they were to make their famous flights. In an era of dirigibles and hot air balloons, the Wright Brothers were among the first innovators of heavier than air flight. B A National Science Teachers Association Best STEM Books of 2017 Take to the skies with Flying Machines! Follow the famous aviators from their bicycle shop in Dayton, Ohio, to the fields of North Carolina where they were to make their famous flights. In an era of dirigibles and hot air balloons, the Wright Brothers were among the first innovators of heavier than air flight. But in the hotly competitive international race toward flight, Orville and Wilbur were up against a lot more than bad weather. Mechanical failures, lack of information, and even other aviators complicated the Wright Brothers’ journey. Though they weren’t as wealthy as their European counterparts, their impressive achievements demanded attention on the international stage. Thanks to their carefully recorded experiments and a healthy dash of bravery, the Wright Brothers’ flying machines took off.

30 review for Science Comics: Flying Machines: How the Wright Brothers Soared

  1. 4 out of 5

    Rod Brown

    I have always thought of the Wright Brothers as tinkerers, not engineers or scientists. This book lays that misconception to rest as it lays out their scientific method behind developing their aircraft. I didn't really understand the digression at the end into Frank Whittle's development of a jet engine. It didn't hurt the book, but I would have rather had more pages about the Wrights. I have always thought of the Wright Brothers as tinkerers, not engineers or scientists. This book lays that misconception to rest as it lays out their scientific method behind developing their aircraft. I didn't really understand the digression at the end into Frank Whittle's development of a jet engine. It didn't hurt the book, but I would have rather had more pages about the Wrights.

  2. 5 out of 5

    First Second Books

    In this volume we follow the famous aviators, the Wright Brothers, from their bicycle shop in Dayton, Ohio, to the fields of North Carolina where they planned to make their famous flights. This is the fifth of the Science Comics, an action-packed nonfiction graphic novel series for middle-grade readers. Make sure to pick it up!

  3. 4 out of 5

    wildct2003

    Very good book. It does go beyond the Wright brothers into the jet age. Recommended.

  4. 5 out of 5

    OpenBookSociety.com

    http://openbooksociety.com/article/sc... Science Comics: Flying Machines: How the Wright Brothers Soared By Alison Wilcus, Molly Brooks ISBN 978-1-62672-139-5 Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Scott Review: The latest installment of Science Comics – Flying Machines: How the Wright Brothers Soared takes the series to new heights (literarily and figuratively). This volume of the graphic novel series explores the historical nature of this remarkable subject. Told from the perspective of Katherine Wright, th http://openbooksociety.com/article/sc... Science Comics: Flying Machines: How the Wright Brothers Soared By Alison Wilcus, Molly Brooks ISBN 978-1-62672-139-5 Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Scott Review: The latest installment of Science Comics – Flying Machines: How the Wright Brothers Soared takes the series to new heights (literarily and figuratively). This volume of the graphic novel series explores the historical nature of this remarkable subject. Told from the perspective of Katherine Wright, the youngest and the only Wright who graduated from university, she teaches the fundamental principles of early aviation attempts and successes. Like most books in the Science Comics line, this graphic novel is geared toward younger readers. As a primer on the principles of flight, it shines brightly, giving a young child the principles, ideas, glossary and further readings in the field of aerodynamics and the bare basics of turbine jet propulsion. The story is well told at a fairly brisk pace. A lot of history had to be crammed into a limited number of pages. Wilcus however makes it work, giving the basic information and ‘links’ to the more technical aspects. It shows solid character development of the Wrights and the French and German contemporaries. The dialogue is kept alive as the movement to different scenes and is witty and charming (and often verbose) and propels the ‘science’ behind heavier than air flight. The graphic novel is limited though to the first flying machines, circa early 1900’s to 1911 or thereabouts. It takes a brief look at the first jet propelled airplane, but the focus is on the early attempts in a boom industry. The artwork is cartoony in a good way. Characters are drawn distinctly and simply, with just enough detail to provide individuality. The art could even be described as ‘airy.’ fitting for the subject materials. Shape is well defined and when details become important, Brooks delivers – making the seemingly difficult concepts easy to understand. Panelation is appropriate and sometimes dissolves into montage or ‘ghost conversations’ (talking heads importing information laid out in diagrammatical fashion). Overall the art is above par, colored well and executed cleanly. Simple to detailed the art reflects what it has to in the story. Together, art and story in Flying Machines: How the Wright Brothers Soared, combine to create quite the educational experience. The graphic novel guides the young reader through the early attempts and the principles that led to modern flight. Complete with a clear illustrations of content, a glossary, further reading (both on the Wright brothers and the Wright sister) this novel is sure to appeal to the budding aeronautical engineer or jet propulsion scientists – or people just interested in the early days of flight. Science Comics: Flying Machines: How the Wright Brothers Soared is a entertaining and gratifying read.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Cole Kennemer

    The graphic novel, “Flying Machines” by Alison Wilgus and Molly Brooks, is a very informative, interesting, and educational story (more like a lecture) about how the Wright brothers learned to fly, and where they got their inspiration. It begins with Katharine Wright, sister of the Wright brothers, teaching some students how flying machines have changed how we travel, fight, and observe our landscape. The narrator, Katharine, is somewhat biased towards her brothers throughout the story, claiming The graphic novel, “Flying Machines” by Alison Wilgus and Molly Brooks, is a very informative, interesting, and educational story (more like a lecture) about how the Wright brothers learned to fly, and where they got their inspiration. It begins with Katharine Wright, sister of the Wright brothers, teaching some students how flying machines have changed how we travel, fight, and observe our landscape. The narrator, Katharine, is somewhat biased towards her brothers throughout the story, claiming the others have copied their designs. Other than that, this graphic novel is great for those who know little about aeronautics, or wish to know more. There are some slides between the story about the aerodynamics of early planes and gliders, and explains what pitch, yaw, and roll mean. This is a great book for those who wish to learn more about the Wright brothers and their successes. Although I found this book very interesting, there is zero plot, boring story, and overall lost my attention within the first three pages. I would have dropped the book and moved on if I could have. This book is more of a lecture than a story, so unless you are using it for information, I don't suggest your read this book.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Julie Kirchner

    These books are fascinating reads, but highly technical, too. I’m surprised by the text complexity because I didn’t realize they were aimed at an upper elementary age student. Perhaps the cover is somewhat misleading. I love the concept and I know if I find the right student to read and enjoy them, they will become popular, but I am also realistic in knowing they will not be for everyone. I enjoyed that this one is told by the youngest Wright family member: sister Katherine. Lots of fantastic in These books are fascinating reads, but highly technical, too. I’m surprised by the text complexity because I didn’t realize they were aimed at an upper elementary age student. Perhaps the cover is somewhat misleading. I love the concept and I know if I find the right student to read and enjoy them, they will become popular, but I am also realistic in knowing they will not be for everyone. I enjoyed that this one is told by the youngest Wright family member: sister Katherine. Lots of fantastic information on the history of flight. I think I’ll encourage my husband to check this one out. As an aerospace engineer, I think it would right up his alley.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Maximilian Lee

    I LOVED this book because it was very Very VERY informative. It had TONS of information in it. It was about the evolution of flying machines. In this book Orville's and Wilbur's sister explained the evolution of flying machines and how they worked. For example, she explained thrust and drag. She also explained the failures and successes that all of the major aircraft inventors (mostly the Wright Brothers). I LOVED this book because it was very Very VERY informative. It had TONS of information in it. It was about the evolution of flying machines. In this book Orville's and Wilbur's sister explained the evolution of flying machines and how they worked. For example, she explained thrust and drag. She also explained the failures and successes that all of the major aircraft inventors (mostly the Wright Brothers).

  8. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    The idea for a comic series dedicated to science topics is a good one, and this one should be popular with middle grade readers, given the keen interest so many youngsters have about flight. The topic explored here is, indeed, flight and the many efforts of the Wright brothers to design a machine that would allow humans to fly. The story of the men and their many experiments and designs is told by their younger sister, Katharine, who gives insight into their struggles and successes and some of t The idea for a comic series dedicated to science topics is a good one, and this one should be popular with middle grade readers, given the keen interest so many youngsters have about flight. The topic explored here is, indeed, flight and the many efforts of the Wright brothers to design a machine that would allow humans to fly. The story of the men and their many experiments and designs is told by their younger sister, Katharine, who gives insight into their struggles and successes and some of the challenges they faced before finally achieving their goal. The book starts with her lecturing in a classroom to a group of largely disinterested students, but eventually her stories prompt their interest and engagement. Although there is quite a lot of scientific information included here and it is clear that there many others who were trying to do what Orville and Wilbur did, they went about it in many different ways. I liked how the text acknowledges the importance of the two men's records so that they could learn from their experiments and how competitive and sometimes dishonest some of the other inventors were. But there were times when I felt as though too many different characters were being introduced. While those individuals were important to the history of flight, they appeared so briefly that it was hard to detect their importance. Additionally, I wanted to know more about what happened to the brothers after their successful flight in North Carolina. Still, this book kept me engaged and reading and taught me some things about the topic with which I was unfamiliar. I'd certainly use it in a science classroom since it is, for the most part, quite accessible with a glossary of relevant terms included in the back matter.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne

    Join Katherine Wright, younger sister of the famous aviators, on a journey through the development of heavier than air flying vehicles. Katherine takes readers back in time and shows them the big names in aviation from more than a century ago. Penaud, Lilienthal, Ader, Voisin, Bleriot, Santos-Dumont, Curtis, Bell, Selfridge, and Whittle are all included, but she focuses on her brothers. The illustrations show the various gliders and planes that the inventors tried - with details about their size Join Katherine Wright, younger sister of the famous aviators, on a journey through the development of heavier than air flying vehicles. Katherine takes readers back in time and shows them the big names in aviation from more than a century ago. Penaud, Lilienthal, Ader, Voisin, Bleriot, Santos-Dumont, Curtis, Bell, Selfridge, and Whittle are all included, but she focuses on her brothers. The illustrations show the various gliders and planes that the inventors tried - with details about their sizes and the materials used to construct each one. The narration follows the chronological order of events, so it is easy to see how each attempt led to new ideas and improvements. Terms like axis of control and ailerons are shown and explained. This series follows in the tradition of the Magic School Bus and the Max Axiom books by sharing science concepts through a graphic format. In this case, the comic style illustrations bring the history of aviation to life for readers. There are plenty of facts, and also helpful features such as a glossary, a list of books for further reading, a brief biography of Katherine Wright, and shorter (paragraph-length) bios of aviation pioneers. This book is an excellent introduction to the history of airplanes and aviation, and offers enough names to give readers a good place to start researching the topic more deeply on their own. I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*

    Wilgus, Alison Science Comics: Flying Machines: How the Wright Brothers Soared, 110 pgs. GRAPHIC. First Second (Roaring Brook), 2017. $13. Told in graphic novel format we meet the little sister of the Wright brothers, Katherine, who is now full grown. She acts as a guide to readers who discover the how the brothers were first interested in flying, how flying machines evolved through new thoughts, ideas and discoveries in the science of flight, the flights of her brothers, and the flying community Wilgus, Alison Science Comics: Flying Machines: How the Wright Brothers Soared, 110 pgs. GRAPHIC. First Second (Roaring Brook), 2017. $13. Told in graphic novel format we meet the little sister of the Wright brothers, Katherine, who is now full grown. She acts as a guide to readers who discover the how the brothers were first interested in flying, how flying machines evolved through new thoughts, ideas and discoveries in the science of flight, the flights of her brothers, and the flying community at large. Scientific concepts are discussed in detail along with statics of the first planes. The artwork is presented in shades of brown, mustard, black, white, and gray. This is my second time reviewing a book from this series and I honestly think they are a bit too challenging for elementary school. I think middle school students learning the concept of flight would find this book just right. There is a plethora of names and science concepts that would overwhelm younger readers, and at times I found challenging. Many of the people had a similar look to me, so I began to have difficulty telling them apart especially as more and more people were introduced. I loved that Katherine was the guide and much biographical information about her is included, which is almost more fascinating to me. MS –OPTIONAL. Stephanie Elementary School Librarian & Author https://kissthebook.blogspot.com/2017...

  11. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    Plot Katharine Wright, Wilbur and Orville's little sister, narrates this graphic novel as a sort of excited little omniscient ghost, wandering through panels and pointing out all the cool things that were happening. The story of the brothers begins in 1878 when their father brings home a wooden French spinning toy called a "bat" that interested the brothers into their adult lives. The history and science of other types of flying inventions and how they worked, or didn't, is looked at as Katharine Plot Katharine Wright, Wilbur and Orville's little sister, narrates this graphic novel as a sort of excited little omniscient ghost, wandering through panels and pointing out all the cool things that were happening. The story of the brothers begins in 1878 when their father brings home a wooden French spinning toy called a "bat" that interested the brothers into their adult lives. The history and science of other types of flying inventions and how they worked, or didn't, is looked at as Katharine interviews the inventors. The story skips along the years through the brothers' failures and feats, also intertwined with their communications to other, mostly French, inventors and scholarly types, before ending in 1941 with the invention of the jet engine. Additionally, the book has a glossary, biographies, and further reading suggestions. Review I enjoyed the art style, with the sepia and blue colors. Though personally I skimmed through it, I appreciated the pages where Katharine went into detail with scientists and inventors to discuss the scientific reasoning for adding or changing various plane mechanics. This will be a good addition to the non-fiction graphic novel section! Appropriate for Grades 4-8th, 8-13yrs Amazon

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    I don't know what I expected since this series is extremely educational, but this book was a little too dry and technical for my enjoyment. However, as a teacher I am pleased that such a topic is surrounded by bright appealing pictures, so that students interested in applied science and all the specifics of flying will have this attractive book to read- thus the third star. But, flying machines, what a wonder! I don't know what I expected since this series is extremely educational, but this book was a little too dry and technical for my enjoyment. However, as a teacher I am pleased that such a topic is surrounded by bright appealing pictures, so that students interested in applied science and all the specifics of flying will have this attractive book to read- thus the third star. But, flying machines, what a wonder!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mary Thomas

    Another fun edition of science comics, sure to delight and enthuse kids who are interested in flight/planes! A LOT of technical information and text packed into this book. It would benefit from subtitles, chapters, or even more of a narrative. It bounced around quite a bit after the Wright brothers first flight was depicted. For those reasons I’d put this in middle school libraries, unless a younger kid was extremely interested.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    Too much detail, too much disassociated trivia. I wanted to like it, because it was potentially interesting to learn how much little sister Katharine Wright helped the brothers. But I dunno, I just couldn't follow all the snips of history. Maybe my failing because I'm more accustomed to narrative, but I have very much enjoyed other Science Comics so I guess I recommend this only to big kids who are really into aviation history. Too much detail, too much disassociated trivia. I wanted to like it, because it was potentially interesting to learn how much little sister Katharine Wright helped the brothers. But I dunno, I just couldn't follow all the snips of history. Maybe my failing because I'm more accustomed to narrative, but I have very much enjoyed other Science Comics so I guess I recommend this only to big kids who are really into aviation history.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Earl

    This was a tad too technical for my taste. I'm more tend to like nonfiction when it doesn't seem like I'm reading a textbook or a manual. I've got to give props for how they handled dispensing all the necessary information AND also spotlighting a figure who doesn't get credit in the story of the Wright brothers (at least in the others I've heard)- their younger sister Katherine who serves as the narrator in this latest installment of Science Comics. This was a tad too technical for my taste. I'm more tend to like nonfiction when it doesn't seem like I'm reading a textbook or a manual. I've got to give props for how they handled dispensing all the necessary information AND also spotlighting a figure who doesn't get credit in the story of the Wright brothers (at least in the others I've heard)- their younger sister Katherine who serves as the narrator in this latest installment of Science Comics.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Robert Weinstein

    Educational graphic novel about history and the story of flight. Writer Alison Wilgus effectively distills the physics and mechanics that make flight possible (Molly Brooks' illustrations were particularly helpful to this end) and uses the Wright Brothers' sister (Katherine) to humanize the story's key players. Educational graphic novel about history and the story of flight. Writer Alison Wilgus effectively distills the physics and mechanics that make flight possible (Molly Brooks' illustrations were particularly helpful to this end) and uses the Wright Brothers' sister (Katherine) to humanize the story's key players.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Barb

    Great book to learn some of the background of the first flight. Really makes you appreciate the scientific study the Wright Brothers went through. Their sister narrates this book and I didn’t realize the role she played in the first flight.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Really fun addition to the Science Comics line. The art was tonally perfect and very enjoyable. I also enjoyed the use of the sister as a narrator, it grounded the story and information well.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jaime

    This was a fun look at the history of The Wright Brothers. The story is told in an engaging and interesting way, with the perfect supporting artwork. My son and I enjoyed it a lot and learned a ton!

  20. 5 out of 5

    walter

    it was boring

  21. 5 out of 5

    Christel Elliott

    My son zoomed through this in a day. He really enjoyed it. He didn't want to put it down. My son zoomed through this in a day. He really enjoyed it. He didn't want to put it down.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lynn

    Very nicely told story with lots of excellent science included. I like that there are sections specifically about aeronautics which readers can dip into or chose to move through the story.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Dahlgren General Library

    DA100000030134

  24. 4 out of 5

    Awjtf

    liked it alot!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Edward Sullivan

    Reviewed for professional publication.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Andréa

    Note: I received a digital galley of this book through NetGalley.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Diane

  28. 4 out of 5

    Karen

  29. 4 out of 5

    Maria

  30. 4 out of 5

    Cindy Gibson

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