Author(s): David Hill
The little plane has been flying across the sea for eight hours. Huge black clouds surround it. Rain pours in. Wind slams. The aircraft is tossed around like a leaf. The pilot stares into the darkness. How much fuel is left? Is she flying in the right direction? How long till she reaches land? In 1934, Jean Batten set a world record for the fastest flight from England to Australia. Just two years later, she made the first-ever solo flight from England to New Zealand. Jean's fearless determination and flying skills helped her survive storms and crashes, as she crossed great oceans and lonely deserts in her tiny plane. This gripping true story with its dazzling illustrations is the third from the award-winning creators of the picture books First to the Top and Speed King. NZ Listener 50 Best Books for Kids
In 1934 Jean Batten set a world record for the fastest flight from England to Australia. Two years later, this brave, trail-blazing and glamorous aviator, known as the “Greta Garbo of the skies”, made the first solo flight from England to New Zealand.
Jean's fearless determination and flying skills helped her survive storms and crashes, once nearly severing her lip, as she crossed oceans, mountain ranges and deserts in her tiny plane.
Born in Rotorua in 1909, she and her mother moved to England in 1929 where Jean gained her flying licences. She became a recluse after World War 2 and died alone on the island of Majorca in 1982 after being bitten by a dog.
This gripping true story for ages 5 to 9, with its dazzling illustrations, is the third from the award-winning creators of the picture book biographies First to the Top (Edmund Hillary) and Speed King (Bert Munro).
Finalist in the 2018 NZ Children's Book Awards for the Elsie Locke Award for Non-Fiction and and also the Russell Clark Award for Illustration
David Hill (Author) David Hill is a prolific and highly regarded New Zealand writer, playwright, poet, columnist and critic. Best known for his highly popular and award-winning body of work for young people, ranging from picture books to teenage fiction, his novels have been published all around the world and translated into several languages, and his short stories and plays for young people have been broadcast here and overseas. Born in Napier, New Zealand, David studied at Victoria University of Wellington and became a high-school teacher, teaching both in New Zealand and the UK. In 1982 he became a full-time writer and his first novel for teenagers, See Ya, Simon (1992), about a boy with muscular dystrophy, was shortlisted for major awards in New Zealand and the UK and won the 1994 Times Educational Supplement Award for Special Needs. An enduringly popular novel used as a class text in high schools all over New Zealand, in 2002 it was awarded the Storylines Gaelyn Gordon Award for a Much-loved Book. David has published more than 40 titles over the past three decades. His most recent junior novels include My Brother's War (2012), which in 2013 won the Junior Fiction Award and the Children's Choice Junior Fiction Award in the New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults, the LIANZA Librarian's Choice Award and was listed as a Storylines Notable Junior Fiction book, a White Raven and an IBBY Honour book. This was followed by novels Brave Company (2014) - also a Storylines Notable Junior Fiction book; The Deadly Sky (2015); and Enemy Camp (2016), about an incident which took place at the Featherston Japanese prisoner-of-war camp in 1943. It won the 2016 HELL Children's Choice Award for Junior Fiction.