Monday, August 17, 2009

31st Anniversary - Balloon Crossing of Atlantic Ocean

On August 17, 1978, three Americans - Maxie Anderson (44), Ben Abruzzo (48), and Larry Newman (31), all of Albuquerque, NM became the first people to complete a transatlantic trip in a balloon. Starting from Presque Isle, ME, on August 11, they traveled some 3,200 miles in 137 hour, 18 minutes, landing in Miserey, France (about 60 miles west of Paris) in their craft, named the Double Eagle II.
-The Teacher's Calendar, 2008-2009

I didn't find any books specifically targeted toward these three individuals or the particular flight mentioned... however, that being said, I did find some interesting books relating to hot air balloons. Unfortunately, only one of them actually arrived at the library in time for this review, but I'm going to pass along links for the others!

Van Leeuwen, Jean.
The Amazing Air Balloon.
Phyllis Fogelman Books.
Guided Reading Level: M

Summary from Barnes & Noble:

Long before the Wright brothers made their famous flight, a young boy from Baltimore became the first person ever to travel by air-in a hot-air balloon. One of the most exciting ways to fly, the air balloon was invented in 1783, although it would take another ten years before a balloon was built that was ready to carry human passengers. Aviation aficionados and indeed all readers will be fascinated by this time before airplanes when an ordinary boy experienced what seemed like an impossible dream-to fly.

This book was a really interesting read for a couple of different reasons!
  • I was glad to see an orphan depicted as the main character in the story who overcomes the oddities and is able to come out on top - being the one to take flight in the air balloon! You don't typically see orphans mentioned in children's literature and it would make for an interesting conversation with middle-grade readers to enable them to see how different the life of an orphan might be from their own!
  • The book also would be a great read for children who are interested in hot air balloons - obviously the balloons used in the late 70's were different than todays... children might enjoy discussing the differences and advancements that have been made over time.
Other Hot Air Balloon Books to Share:
Hot-Air Balloon Teaching Activities:
If you're interested in finding out more information about any of the books reviewed or if you'd like to purchase the books, click the cover image for a link to