Form and Content

(Critical Edition of Young Adult Fiction)

In The Wright Brothers: Pioneers of Power Flight, Carroll V. Glines combines historical analysis and biography in his narrative of the invention by Wilbur and Orville Wright of the “world’s first power-driven heavier-than-air machine in which man made free, controlled, and sustained flight.” The biography is divided into ten chapters totaling approximately a hundred pages. The book also contains a table of contents, a chronology of key events, a brief list of further reading, and an index.

The book begins with an account of the Wright brothers’ first flights at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, on December 17, 1903, after which Glines recounts their experiments in flight between 1900 and 1903. Although Glines flashes back to cover the family background and the childhoods of the Wright brothers in Dayton, Ohio, nine of the ten chapters focus on the brothers’ experiments, their rise to international fame, and the legal and political conflicts that arose from their success.

In the summary of the home life and education of Orville and Wilbur, Glines tells of their interests in inventions and business, of their “sympathetic and understanding” parents, and of their limited formal schooling. This brief summary depicts the formation of the close friendship between the brothers—a friendship so close that, when they were separated to demonstrate their airplanes in Europe and the United States simultaneously, they refused honors that...

(The entire section is 582 words.)