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Pilots: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about pilots?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to pilots. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about pilots.

Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.

When it comes to children’s stories about pilots, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Candy Bomber to popular sellers like The Glorious Flight: Across the Channel with Louis Bleriot July 25, 1909 to some of our favorite hidden gems like Violet the Pilot.

We hope this list of kids books about pilots can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book!

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Amelia Earhart
Written by Isabel Sanchez Vegara & illustrated by Mariadiamantes
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Meet Amelia, the fearless female flier! Now available as a board book in the Little People, Big Dreams series, this inspiring and informative little biography follows the life of Amelia Earhart, from her childhood as a tomboy to becoming the first female pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean to her eventual disappearance. With stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, this empowering series celebrates the important life stories of wonderful women of the world. From designers and artists to scientists, all of them went on to achieve incredible things, yet all of them began life as a little child with a dream. These books make the lives of these role models accessible for children, providing a powerful message to inspire the next generation of outstanding people who will change the world!

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Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot
Written by Margot Theis Raven
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-9

A True Story of the Berlin Airlift and the Candy that Dropped from the Sky.<P>Life was grim in 1948 West Berlin, Germany. Josef Stalin blockaded all ground routes coming in and out of Berlin to cut off West Berliners from all food and essential supplies. Without outside help, over 2.2 million people would die. <P>Thus began the Berlin Airlift, a humanitarian rescue mission that utilized British and American airplanes and pilots to fly in needed supplies. As one of the American pilots participating in the Airlift mission, Lt. Gail S. Halvorsen helped to provide not only nourishment to the children but also gave them a reason to hope for a better world. From one thoughtful, generous act came a lifelong relationship between Lt. Gail and the children of Berlin. <P>This is the true story of a seven-year-old girl named Mercedes who lived in West Berlin during the Airlift and of the American who came to be known as the Chocolate Pilot. <P>Artist Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen’s evocative paintings illuminate Margot Theis Raven’s powerful story of hope, friendship and remembrance. <P>About the Author: Margot Theis Raven has been a professional writer working in the fields of radio, television, magazines, newspapers, and children’s books for thirty years. She has won five national awards, including an IRA Teacher’s Choice award. Ms. Raven earned her degree in English from Rosemont College and attended Villanova University for theater study, and Kent State University for German language. Ms. Raven splits her time living in Concord, MA, Charleston, SC and West Chesterfield, NH. <P>About the Illustrator: Born in the Netherlands, Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen studied at the Royal Academy of Arts inHolland. He immigrated to the United States in 1976, and years later he became a children’s book illustrator. “Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot” is Nick’s ninth children’s book with Sleeping Bear Press.

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Violet the Pilot
Written & illustrated by Steve Breen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Violet is a science-loving girl inventor with a flair for the air! Fans of Ada Twist, Scientist and Rosie Revere, Engineer will love this classic underdog story by two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist Steve Breen.

By the time she’s two years old, Violet Van Winkle can engineer nearly any appliance in the house. And by eight she’s building elaborate flying machines from scratch—mind-boggling contraptions such as the Tubbubbler, the Bicycopter, and the Wing-a-ma-jig. The kids at school tease her, but they have no idea what she’s capable of. Maybe she could earn their respect by winning the blue ribbon in the upcoming Air Show. Or maybe something even better will happen—something involving her best-ever invention, a Boy Scout troop in peril, and even the mayor himself!

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Clear the Cow Pasture, I'm Coming in for a Landing!: A Story of Amelia Earhart
Written & illustrated by Robert Quackenbush
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

A biography of the courageous aviatrix who became the first woman to cross the Atlantic by air.

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The Glorious Flight: Across the Channel with Louis Bleriot July 25, 1909
Written & illustrated by Alice Provensen and Martin Provensen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Winner of the Caldecott Medal, this stunningly illustrated book depicts Louis Bleriot’s historic first cross-Channel flight.

“Factually accurate, yes-but also a witty pictorial reincarnation of Bleriot’s first experience of an airship”—Kirkus Reviews

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  • Night Witches at War - Flying combat missions in wartime is always dangerous. But imagine doing so in a slow, rickety biplane, at night, with no lights or navigational equipment of any kind. Sound impossible? It wasn’t for the Soviet Night Witches. This unit of incredibly brave women flew hundreds of missions to attack German forces on the front lines during World War II. Learn all about these brave women and how their skill and courage in battle helped defeat the Nazis to win the war.

  • I am Unstoppable - The littlest readers can learn about Amelia Earhart in this board book version of the New York Times bestselling Ordinary People Change the World biography. This friendly, fun biography series focuses on the traits that made our heroes great—the traits that kids can aspire to in order to live heroically themselves. In this new board book format, the very youngest readers can learn about one of America’s icons in the series’s signature lively, conversational way. The short text focuses on drawing inspiration from these iconic heroes, and includes an interactive element and factual tidbits that young kids will be able to connect with. This volume tells the story of Amelia Earhart, the famous pilot.

  • I Am Amelia Earhart - Presents the life of the first female pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, who mysteriously disappeared in 1937 while attempting to fly around the world.

  • Christmas from Heaven: The True Story of the Berlin Candy Bomber - Christmas from Heaven is the story of the humble beginnings of what became a beacon of hope to a war-torn land, the story of Gail Halvorsen, a young pilot in the US Army Air Corps who was assigned as a cargo pilot to the Berlin Airlift, in which US forces flew much-needed supplies into a Soviet-blockaded Berlin.

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A Meeting in the Sky
Written by Rina Singh & illustrated by Jordi Vila Delclos
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-10

On December 20, 1943, a German pilot escorted an American bomber to safety; this remarkable, secret meeting in the sky inspired a lifelong quest to reunite as the two former enemies became friends.

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Little Guides to Great Lives: Amelia Earhart
Written by Isabel Thomas & illustrated by Dalia Adillon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-11

The first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, Amelia Earhart was a superstar of aviation in the 1920s and 1930s and a pioneer of women’s rights. Her disappearance in 1937, while attempting to fly around the world, remains an unsolved mystery.

From artists to aviators and scientists to revolutionaries, Little Guides to Great Lives is a brand new series of small-format guides introducing children to the most inspirational figures from history in a fun, accessible way. Launching with Leonardo da Vinci, Marie Curie, Nelson Mandela, and Amelia Earhart, Little Guides to Great Lives tells the stories of the most amazing people from all over the world and across history, with full-color illustrations and fresh design to bring their incredible stories to life.

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Nobody Owns the Sky: The Story of "Brave Bessie" Coleman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

As a young woman in the 1920s, Bessie Coleman’s chances of becoming a pilot were slim. But she never let her dream die and became the first licensed African-American aviator. In Nobody Owns the Sky, Reeve Lindbergh honors Coleman’s memory with a poem that sings of her accomplishment. Full color.

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Talkin' About Bessie: The Story of Aviator Elizabeth Coleman
Written by Nikki Grimes & illustrated by Earl B. Lewis
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Soar along with Bessie Coleman in this inspirational tale of a woman whose determination reached new heights.

Elizabeth “Bessie” Coleman was always being told what she could & couldn’t do. In an era when Jim Crow laws and segregation were a way of life, it was not easy to survive. Bessie didn’t let that stop her. Although she was only 11 when the Wright brothers took their historic flight, she vowed to become the first African -American female pilot. Her sturdy faith and determination helped her overcome obstacles of poverty, racism, and gender discrimination. Innovatively told through a series of monologues.

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Candy Bomber
Written & illustrated by Michael O. Tunnell
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

“World War II was over, and Berlin was in ruins. US Air Force Lieutenant Gail Halvorsen knew the children of the city were suffering. They were hungry and afraid. The young pilot wanted to help, but what could one man in one plane do?”–Dust jacket flap.

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  • The Pilot and the Little Prince: The Life of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry was born in France in 1900, when airplanes were just being invented. Antoine dreamed of flying and grew up to be a pilot―and that was when his adventures began. He found a job delivering mail by plane, which had never been done before. He and his fellow pilots traveled to faraway places and discovered new ways of getting from one place to the next. Antoine flew over mountains and deserts. He battled winds and storms. He tried to break aviation records, and sometimes he even crashed. From his plane, Antoine looked down on the earth and was inspired to write about his life and his pilot-hero friends in memoirs and in fiction. Peter Sís’s remarkable biography celebrates the author of The Little Prince, one of the most beloved books in the world. This title has Common Core connections.

  • Night Flight: Amelia Earhart Crosses the Atlantic - "Hearts will be racing." --Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • The Little Airplane - Pilot Small flies his airplane over the countryside, does a loopy-loop, makes an emergency landing, and finally returns safely to the hangar.

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