Read The Wright Brothers: How They Invented the Airplane by Russell Freedman Online


The first powered, sustained, and controlled airplane flight, and the men behind it. A Newbery honor Book....

Title : The Wright Brothers: How They Invented the Airplane
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780823410828
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 144 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Wright Brothers: How They Invented the Airplane Reviews

  • Lars Guthrie
    2019-05-27 17:53

    Russell Freedman’s books are just fantastic. In each one, he focuses in on an area of history that fascinates him, connects the dots into a cohesive narrative that tells a story with a beginning, middle and end, and then enriches the verbal with visuals that match up perfectly, usually from primary sources. And he does so in a hundred pages or so.‘The Wright Brothers: How They Invented the Airplane’ is no exception. Freedman’s got a good story. Wilbur and Orville Wright were a couple of nerdy kids who loved tools and tinkering. They had the advantages of a middle class life, made possible by their preacher father, a rising star in the United Brethren Church. But neither finished high school. Their mother died from tuberculosis. They had no corporate sponsors, no sponsors at all, to back their experiments in flight. Through a combination of luck—getting into the bicycle business just as two-wheeled peddling became a national craze—and stick-to-itiveness, they were able to change history.It’s an exaggeration to say the Wright Brothers ‘invented’ the airplane, but not much of one. While contemporaries also produced motor-propelled flying machines, Wilbur and Orville realized the key was not just getting the dang things in the air, but keeping them up there. They really can make the claim to the first sustained and controlled flight.I read Freedman’s book because a student with whom I’m working was reading the National Geographic-published ‘Airborne: A Photobiography of Wilbur and Orville Wright,’ by Mary Collins, for a book report. It was interesting and enlightening to compare two works. At the same time, I read Paul Clee’s ‘Before Hollywood: From Shadow Play to the Silver Screen,’ another history book aimed at younger readers.One reason I liked Freedman more than Collins and Clee was that ‘The Wright Brothers’ was more straightforward and clear. ‘Airborne’ intersperses narrative with tinted photos overlayed with quotes from the brothers and periodicals of the day. ‘Before Hollywood’ occasionally presents information in sidebars, rather than in the main body of text. I suspect that such book layout, designed, I’m sure, to catch the reader’s attention and draw him in, can be distracting and confusing. I’m convinced it is for me.This is a style engrained in schools’ social studies presentation. Look at nearly any textbook. Usually suffering from authorship by committee, these books often seem drained of the enthusiasm that a single writer genuinely involved with the entire scope of his work, like Freedman, brings to the text. Their neutral, stilted prose is an unappetizing draw, so perhaps publishers figure that by jazzing up the graphics, they’ll get kids excited. It doesn’t work.I know this is generalizing, but so be it. History in elementary grades, and in high school, is almost always boring, boring, boring. Sidebars, overlays, and other digressions from a consistent and linear narrative serve only to obfuscate central concepts that are delivered in a lackluster, bland style.When kids really engage with history, they get excited. You can see it when they read historical novels, or watch the History Channel, or even, on occasion, read a work such as ‘The Wright Brothers,’ or another Freedman book I just finished, the recently published ‘The War to End All Wars.’ They want a story.But they are rarely given that opportunity. Add to this requirements to ‘research’ history on the internet, where dubious and trustworthy sources are as easily accessed, with lots and lots of possible distractions, and you’ve got a world that is failing to give children a sense of historical context, and the critical tools to evaluate and make use of what they’ve learned.It’s a world that needs more Russell Freedmans, and more books like ‘The Wright Brothers.’Highly recommended for fourth graders on up.

  • midnightfaerie
    2019-05-17 12:52

    This was given as additional reading material for my son's history class. Whatever. First of all, this is an adult book, long, boring, and in black and white. There is no desire to read this book, from me or my children. The only person that I could see liking this book would be a lover of all things airplane. I tried to read it, but fell asleep after a few pages. In any case, not something children would be interested in reading, although it has some good pictures of the Wright brothers and the airplanes/biplanes.

  • A_Esther
    2019-05-31 18:02

    In The Wright Brothers How They Invented the Airplane, author Russell Freedman draws the reader in to the familiar tale of two brothers who over 100 years ago took to the sky on their glider. I listened on CD to the unabridged version of the text performed by Knighton Bliss. Bliss’ evenly paced recording brought Freedman’s words to life. As you listen, the text takes on the tone of a PBS documentary sans video. The listener hears about the close-knit Wright family, we learn that the patriarch Bishop Milton Wright was a minister and that Orville and Wilbur were as “inseparable as twins.” Through ten chapters, Bliss narrates giving the listener intimate access into the lives of the Wright Brothers through first and second hand accounts. In addition to the Wright Brothers, the aviation contributions of others, such as Chanute, Lilienthal, and Langley were chronicled. The hard copy of the book features original photos by the Wright Brothers interspersed throughout. The compact disc has a bonus disc of some of the same photos, which may be viewed by computer. While I commend Bliss’ reading of the material, the nature of the text made me wish for the visual support pictures would provide; there were only thirty on the bonus cd. I would recommend using the cd in conjunction with a hard copy of the text for students in third grade or higher who may be inquisitive about the topic but in need of linguistic support. This text could be used in a unit about the Wright Brothers, or as part of a series of inventors or specifically, pioneers of flight. As a challenge, older students may also research others inventors and innovators with no formal training in the field which they’ve significantly impacted. A lead in for this project could be Balloons Over Broadway about the life of puppeteer Tony Sarg.

  • Haley Smith
    2019-05-30 14:45

    This book is a non-fiction biographical book about Orville and Wilbur Wright it is intended for students between 6th and 8th grade. It received the 1991 Boston Globe - Horn Book Award Honor Book (Nonfiction) award, the 1992 Golden Kite Award and the 1992 Newbery Medal Honor Book award. This book is all about how The Wright Brothers invented the airplane just as the title suggests. I enjoyed the real photographs and how it explained why the brothers were successful. I think the portion of the book that explained their experience in the bicycle trade helped them view flight differently than other who tried was especially interesting. I however don't think this book would draw in readers because it is extremely factual. Also because the pictures are in black and white I have found younger readers tend to find these books "boring" although that is not my opinion of this story.12/1/17

  • Briana Hilton
    2019-06-12 11:46

    The Wright Brothers were aviation pioneers who invented, built, and flew the most successful airplane. This book brings light to the creative process of creating a new tool of transportation and and invention that would unknowingly be groundbreaking for the 20th century.Literary Awards: Newbery Honor (1992APA Citation: Freedman, R. (2009). The Wright brothers how they invented the airplane. Grand Haven, MI: Brilliance Audio.

  • Nadine Willis
    2019-05-20 15:45

    I labeled this book, The Wright Brothers: How They Invented the Airplane, in the Informational Book: Biography genre. I chose this book because I live so closely to the Wright Memorial so I recognized the cover immediately, and fell in love with all the photographs that are throughout the story. I enjoyed how Freedman (the author) portrayed the Wright Brothers, which was as inventors and heroes but real people who were very personable.

  • Mary Joy
    2019-06-04 19:11

    It was informational, but it was not my favorite by Freedman. I think that it was less personal than some of his other pieces. It did not catch my eye and I found myself not retaining interest throughout the book. I think this also is because I am not very interested in flying. If I were interested in airplanes, I think I would appreciate this book a lot more.

  • Demi VanDeCasteele
    2019-05-26 16:45

    This history book about the Wright brothers is the perfect mix of learning how airplanes are made as well as the relationship between the Wright brothers. The book is filled with so many wonderful photographs!

  • Amber Scaife
    2019-05-22 12:47

    A good way to get kids uninterested in an interesting subject. Yoicks.

  • Amanda Toombs
    2019-05-18 10:59

    Genre: Junior Book—Biography/Autobiography Summary: Russell Freedman provides readers with a better understanding on the lives of two brothers, Wilbur and Orville Wright as they head through many journeys and hardships. Many pictures and much information do a good job of showing readers these journeys up until they accomplished the biggest one of all: the invention of the airplane. Critique:a. Personally, I think the greatest strength of this title is the information about the two brothers lives and also the old fashion illustrations. b. As this is a biography of two important and famous brothers, it gives readers a more understanding approach on the two men. This is because readers are able to understand how the brothers achieve such a huge accomplishment and also the events that lead up to this accomplishment. The illustrations/pictures throughout the biography allow readers to have a better understand on the events as the pictures show real life happenings. They allow readers to see how and what things looked like back years ago. Young readers are able to learn more about these men and understand them better and not only know they were the ones that invented the airplane. Readers get the full effect of two very important men’s lives. c. As photos are provided throughout the novel, we notice they are very old pictures as they are shown in black and white. Readers are able to understand what the men’s beds and kitchens looked like (pg. 50-51) as they learned the differences in their living environments throughout the years. Allowing the readers to get the full understanding of how things were back then and their appliances they used, readers can see this by referring to the couple of pages that shows the men trying out the glider in 1902 (pg. 55-63). This really gives the students the ability to see how things were used and how different they were, back many years ago. As the book is organized into 10 chapters, readers are able to connect with the two men who invented the airplane as their personal lives, struggles, accomplishments and deaths are talked about in this biography novel. Curriculum Connection:This book can be used in a classroom during a history lesson on famous people and their accomplishments. This book will allow students to understand the full biography of the two important men who invented the airplane and now just their names with their inventions. This book can be used when researching more information on the two men or even when a project is being done on airplanes. Students could work as groups to assembly an airplane like the two Wright brothers done and share with the class their way of making the airplane. Students could use the airplane with a research paper or an oral presentation when talking about the brothers and their accomplishment.

  • Casey
    2019-05-22 16:51

    1. Classification: Biography/Autobigraphy junior books2. Summary: This is such an amazing biography on the Wright Brothers. This story is full of facts, quotes, and pictures of the Wright Brothers from children all the way up to death. Follow Wilbur and Orville Wright as they start out as bicycle mechanics and evolve into one of histories greatest wonders. 3. Critique:a.) I grew up spliting my years between Hampton Roads and Kitty Hawk where my grandparents have a summer beach house. I have always known a lot about the Wright Brothers when it came to flying but other than that they were a mystery. This story has amazing photographs of the brothers and I learned a lot about their history starting from childhood. b.) The photographs throughout the story are so wonderful. I'm a huge photography fan and it was really neat to see what they looked like when they were younger and to get the experience to feel as though I was a part of their history. c.) I never would have known how the Wright Brothers went from bicycle mechanics to flying. It always seemed like such a weird change in interests even though they were both similar in the way of being forms of transportation. I discovered while reading that the Wright Brothers interest in flying sparked from a gift their grandfather gave them when they were boys. "It was a helicopter made of cork, bamboo, and paper; powered by a twisted rubber band attached to twin propellers." (page 9). 4. Curriculum Connection: It is clearly obvious that this novel would be a great connection to history. I would say that this story is for older students like 5th and 6th grade due to the length and girth of information provided in the book. The students could do a research project on the Wright Brothers in small groups and do a tri-fold presentation. One group could do their childhood, one could do their college years, bicycle to flight years, and death, etc. It would be such a fun project. The kids could even build a paper airplane to include in their presentations.

  • Jill
    2019-06-09 18:46

    Overall it felt a little bogged down with technical descriptions--could have done with fewer "data dumps", technical drawings, that type of thing. The real story here is the Wright brothers' perseverance and the strong brotherly bond that existed between them. I was surprised to see this is by the same author as Lincoln: A Photobiography which flowed so beautifully cover to cover. "Since the earliest times, earthbound humans had envied the freedom of birds and dreamed of imitating them. An ancient Greek myth tells the story of Daedalus and his son Icarus, who escaped from a prison on the island of Crete by making wings out of feathers and wax. Together they flew away, but Icarus became too confident. He flew so high that the heat of the sun melted the wax in his wings, and he fell into the sea and drowned.""Madame Hart O. Berg, became the first woman to fly. In those Victorian days, it was considered shocking for a woman to show her ankles. So before Madame Berg took off, her husband tied a cord around her skirt, just above her ankles. After she landed, she took a few hobbling steps before the cord was removed. That summer, the hobble skirt became all the rage in the world of ladies' high fashion."

  • Tracy
    2019-05-29 18:01

    Russell Freedman has been recognized for his ability to construct compelling and dramatic narrative based strictly on documented research, especially first-person accounts, and he doesn’t disappoint with this book. He wavers a bit chronologically at first to establish his themes: the monumental achievement of the Wright brothers and the diligence and commitment of these twin-like brothers that precipitated it. After chapter three, Freedman mostly maintains a straightforward chronological momentum to support the themes. The Wright Brothers, like other Freeman nonfiction books, reads like a novel in many ways because of the author’s ability to place the historic events in the context of increasing conflict. The Wright brothers conduct experiments that fail, jeopardizing the race to build the first powered airplane. Even without a background in aeronautical engineering, the reader quickly becomes engrossed in the disappointments and successes that led to the first flights. Because Freedman intersperses the text with photography by the Wright brothers, the reader also gains a feeling of what the Wright brothers saw as important (what they took time to document through the camera lens). The photography further enhances the book’s authenticity as well.

  • CB
    2019-05-21 14:11

    In this Newberry Honor book, the author (who won a Newberry Medal for Lincoln: A Photobiography) relies heavily on 94 photographs to tell the story of Wilbur and Orville Wright's historic scientific breakthrough. Many of the pictures were taken by the Wright brothers or their associates, giving the text considerable first-hand credibility. Although the book is sized like a picture book and the font is larger than 12-point, the text is considerably more dense. The author gives a brief biography as well as a summary of flight experiments conducted prior to the Wright brothers. From there, the story moves though the first Kitty Hawk flight and beyond, chronicling the brothers' progress after that historic moment. The back of the book includes information about the photographs, a list of Wright brother-related places to visit, and further readings.

  • Ellie Slama
    2019-05-23 14:53

    The Wright Brothers biography was an amazing story. When I picked it off the shelf I thought of how much I disliked reading nonfiction books. But I got into the book and I loved it. I really enjoyed how Russell Freedman built up to the moment when the Wright brothers (Orville and Wilbur) designed the original motor propelled airplane. The brothers worked day and night as hard as they could. Finally they accomplished the extremely difficult (what everyone thought impossible) job of completing the first airplane. I also thought the photography in the book helped me picture what it was actually like in the late 1800's. Something I thought the author could have done better was a more detailed discription of how they actually put the plane together. I wasn't very interested in the first airplane until I read this book and it was great. I am rating this book five out of five because of the fascinating historic facts about the Wright family and its amazing story line. I would recommend this book to all ages and anyone who enjoys aeronautics.

  • Joy
    2019-06-10 18:58

    1992 Newbery Honor BookI have come to like Russell Freedman's nonfiction books. He has been honored several times and won the medal once (for Lincoln A Photobiography). He presents the information in an interesting narrative so that I actually was intrigued by the book instead of finding it dull and boring. Freedman tells the story of the Wright Brothers. They were both bachelors who lived with their father and spinster sister (who did all the housework but was the only member of the family to graduate from college). The loved to tinker and started out with a homemade printing press which they used to print stuff professionally. Eventually, they went into the bicycle business after that craze hit until they heard about the people who were experimenting with gliders. They found that no one had really solved the problem of how to control the fledgling gliders when they were in the air so that was the project they tackled before finally putting a motor on the thing.

  • Lisa
    2019-05-20 17:50

    A fascinating non-fiction work about the Wright brothers. This book includes a chapter on the history of attempted manned flights preceding the Wright flyer, biographical information about the Wright family, and details about the creative thinking and trouble shooting that led the Wright brothers to succeed where others failed. The book also discusses events in the Wright brothers' lives following their famed flight, including their attempts to prove, publicize, and improve upon their original flyer. (Spoiler: they were better engineers than publicists!) This book includes lots of photographs and drawings, including original engineering sketches. I like having books like this one on my classroom shelf for pre-teen boys who aren't into horse stories!

  • LeeVi
    2019-05-31 16:09

    What unusual people the Wright brothers were! Despite a four-year difference in age, the two grew up to be as close as twins, a patient bachelor pair who methodically set out to prove the possibility of powered, controlled human flight. Just as methodically, they promoted their new flying machine, made lots of money, and overcame the U. S. government's stubborn lack of interest. This book is written with precision and detail. Yet, since it is aimed at young readers, it is clear and easy to read. The author explains in simple, easily understood language, the decisive inventions of the Wright Brothers. It is an excellent book for anyone who wants to truly understand how the Wright Brothers invented the airplane.

  • Heidi-Marie
    2019-05-31 17:10

    A quick yet informative nonfiction about something that has been on my mind lately (because of booking a puppet show, living near Kitty Hawk but never making it there to visit, and recently passing through Dayton). I was wondering how much I would appreciate this book that mentioned all of the pictures taken along the journey, when I learned that the 3rd CD contained the photos. Really neat to see. A fun history to learn about and not too overwhelming with a bunch of information. Little glimpses of personal lives for the brothers and their family. I might be interested in reading a few more personal anecdotes from those people, as I liked what was quoted in the book. I will admit, however, that my favorite part of this book was knowing so many of the places mentioned in it!

  • Allielund
    2019-06-10 17:01

    I surprisingly really enjoyed this book. I was a bit nervous that it would be too dry to keep my interest but instead I found myself excited to read about the journey these 2 brothers took while inventing the airplane. I wish the book would have had a few simple diagrams that showed parts of the plane etc for those of us who aren't real savvy on that kind of a thing. What I really liked was the comradary of the brothers and their amazing accomplishments. Rather than becoming discouraged when they faced setbacks they seemed to take it as a challange. I found their story inspiring!!!

  • Monica Fastenau
    2019-06-16 16:11

    Read the full review here: always enjoy what Russell Freedman writes. He is a fantastic biography writer, and this book about the Wright brothers is no exception. I found it amazing how much the brothers had to discover for themselves; they really did pioneer the science of flight, not just flying itself. The book was crammed with tons of pictures (the Wright brothers were meticulous about documenting their progress). I did sometimes skim the more technical parts, though.

  • Riley
    2019-06-02 11:51

    (INFORMATIONAL) I chose to read this book because it was by the same author as the biography I read about Eleanor Roosevelt. This author does a great job of not making the reading "boring", but still gets the point across. It explains what took place to change American history forever. The story emphasizes the events that led up to the first successful flight of the Wright brothers and the improvements made thereafter. Although I'm usually not into this stuff, I actually found this book very interesting!

  • Brooke
    2019-06-13 18:03

    Great collection of photos and facts to bring to life the hard work, ingenuity, and fortitude of the Wright Brothers. Witty collection of quotes from letters and friends added personality to these iconic figures. Inspiring!! Loved that they accomplished with no education and less than $1000, what famous engineers had failed to do with over $70,000. 10+ but really more of an adult book. Would work for younger boys if really interested in airplanes or experiments.

  • Randolph Marsh
    2019-06-16 17:02

    Reminds me of "Countdown to Flight" by Steve Englehart, with slightly more readability for middle school kids and a LOT more pictures. I had been reading that one with my aviation class but may switch to this one for the photographs. This book would be great for any student who is interested in aviation history; for those who are not I could see it as a dry read. Just depends on your interest in the topic.

  • Diane
    2019-06-13 18:51

    I love anything by Russell Freedman. If all biography and history for kids were written by someone as good at it as Russell Freedman, they would like those topics much better. Think of the typical person of achievement formula book or boring history and then read Freedman. No comparison. And you learn so much from Freedman's books without it being a chore. After I finished this book I even understood (for a short time) the principles that made human flight possible.

  • Laura
    2019-05-21 16:12

    The story of the Wright Brothers is truly inspiring, Russell Freedman did an excellent job of blending the facts without making it feel like a textbook. I found myself anxious to see how things would turn out, and I loved seeing the pictures that the Wright brothers took themselves, it really added to the story and made the history seem more alive. I'd recommend this book.*Taken from my book reviews blog:

  • H Wells Lucas
    2019-05-22 13:55

    A captivating book with tons of rare photographs taken by the Wright Bros. as they took the journey from dream of flying to man’s first powered flight. Complete with an in-depth exploration of their lives, the book also goes into easy-to-understand details about how manned flight evolved and how it works.

  • Lindsey Feldpausch
    2019-05-30 13:12

    This book was so exciting. At first it looked a little long to read to my kids, but we split it up over an entire week and every time a chapter ended, I was sad we couldn't move onto the next one. I learned more from this book than any other on the Wright brothers. I am not an airplane enthusiast, but this book had me marvel at how they invented the airplane.

  • Jade
    2019-05-27 12:53

    This is a very interesting biography about the Wright Brothers and their journey to invent the Airplane. It provides a lot of good facts and information about the Brother, and what hardships they had to face. It is a pretty long book, but I highly recommend it for older readers who like biographies.

  • Johna
    2019-06-14 11:12

    I grew more personally attached to the Wright family as I listened to each chapter. Creative, tenacious, and utterly driven, Orville and Wilbur accomplished what others had attempted and failed.I very much enjoyed reading about their time in France where they demonstrated flight to an ever-growing crowd. Whenever I board a plane, I marvel at how the Wright Brothers really began my journey.