Form and Content

(Critical Edition of Young Adult Fiction)

In Wilbur and Orville: A Biography of the Wright Brothers, the events from the births of Wilbur and Orville Wright to the death of Orville are documented in a detailed narrative by Fred Howard. The book includes sixty-seven pages of footnotes that cover almost every page of the book. This “term-paper” style of writing re-affirms the facts of what the Wright brothers actually accomplished over their lifetimes; it provides accurate information, eliminates hearsay and bias, and strengthens the credibility of the Wright brothers’ accomplishments.

Wilbur and Orville is basically sequential; however, there are times when the author chooses to backtrack to earlier dates and events. The book challenges young readers to understand the tremendous accomplishments of these young brothers as they experimented, took risks, and finally put together a glider with an engine that actually flew.

Howard’s deep interest and expertise in the area of aerodynamics and airplane development are reflected by the excitement and fortitude that he exhibits in his detailed narrative accounts throughout the book. Wilbur and Orville is a long book; however, a young reader with an inquiring mind or an interest in aerodynamic history will become intrigued with the data and with the many failures explained in the book until the first flight was made successfully on December 17, 1903. Wilbur and Orville continues with the inclusion of...

(The entire section is 426 words.)