Review of Tiny Jumper: How Tiny Broadwick Created the Parachute Rip Cord

How Tiny Broadwick Created the Parachute Rip CordTiny Jumper: How Tiny Broadwick Created the Parachute Rip Cord
by Candy Dahl; illus. by Maithili Joshi
Primary    Little Bee    40 pp.
10/23    9781499813944    $18.99

Dahl’s introduction to a little-known pioneer in aviation history tells the story of a determined, diminutive young woman in the male-dominated world of early-twentieth-century trick flying. After seeing an aeronaut perform at the North Carolina State Fair in 1907, Broadwick (1893–1978) is determined to take to the sky. At the next year’s fair, she makes her debut as “The Doll Girl” and begins a career that would include more than eleven hundred jumps from balloons and airplanes and many firsts as a female aeronaut. Notably, a jump gone wrong leads Broadwick to create the ripcord that is still used today. Dahl’s fast-paced narrative is interspersed with quotes from her subject (“It burned me up having to dress like a baby doll and having that name tacked on me!”) and contemporaries, adding color and immediacy. (While the text does not shy away from some of the difficult aspects of Tiny’s life, including her past as a child laborer, it solidly avoids other such biographical details as being a child bride and an abandoned preteen mother.) Joshi’s movement-filled illustrations often show Broadwick from the back gazing into the distance, clearly a woman looking toward new horizons. An author’s note offers additional history, along with a selected bibliography.

From the September/October 2023 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Laura Koenig

Laura Koenig is the Team Leader for Central Library Children's Services at the Boston Public Library.

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