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27+ Works 6,095 Members 372 Reviews 1 Favorited

About the Author

Image credit: Author Steve Sheinkin at the 2019 Texas Book Festival in Austin, Texas, United States. By Larry D. Moore, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=84407868

Works by Steve Sheinkin

Lincoln's Grave Robbers (2012) 682 copies

Associated Works

Guys Read: True Stories (2014) — Contributor — 177 copies


Common Knowledge



I'm a middle school librarian, and I read this book because it's a 2023-2024 Rebecca Caudill Nominee.

Two Sentence Summary: Spies, hydrogen bombs, the race to space, and the looming threat of nuclear war. The Cold War was a frightening time for the world, and much of what went on wasn't brought to light until years later.

Steve Sheinkin. This man works magic. He has helped my non-history buff reader heart fall in love with reading historical nonfiction. At least, the historical nonfiction he writes. This is the second book by him I've read (the first being Bomb), and I keep coming back for more. His books read similar to a novel, but the frequent jumps between different events keeps it from fully feeling like a normal fiction novel. Though it's never confusing because of it. The way he connects all the events keeps you in suspense. I often wondered how I didn't know how the "story" ended even though it's a real time in history that I learned about in school. He clearly does his research and knows how to craft his writing so it's easy to read and understand. The target audience is middle school, but I believe that even teens and adults will enjoy it.

LibraryThing* Rating: 5 Stars

Book Lady** Rating: 5 Stars

I liked…
- the way he brought the Cold War events together in an understandable and interesting way
- the included pictures
- how it kept my attention the whole time

I disliked…
NOTHING! Honestly.

Content: Middle School and up - it's talking about the serious topic of nuclear war, which can be frightening for younger children

Recommended for middle schoolers (and up) who like historical nonfiction or at least like an "edge of your seat" story who are open to reading nonfiction.

*LibraryThing rating takes into consideration the intended audience’s comprehension and interests.
**Book Lady Rating is what I would give it if I based it on my personal preference and likes/dislikes
… (more)
FayBel_Veya | 6 other reviews | Nov 14, 2023 |
A very well paced look at how the first atomic bomb was created and how those secrets were passed to the Soviet Union.
everettroberts | 162 other reviews | Oct 20, 2023 |
First sentence: Rudi would find a way to fight Adolf Hitler. It can be said, without risk of exaggeration, that he would go on to be--while still a teenager--one of the great heroes of the entire Second World War. But not in a way he ever could have imagined.

Premise/plot: Nonfiction for middle school and high school. To be fair, nonfiction for everyone. [But I might be biased in thinking everyone needs to read World War II books, in particular books about the Holocaust.] This one tells the story of two teens: Rudolph (Rudi) Vrba and Gerta Sidonová.

My thoughts: I had read about Rudi Vrba [Walter Rosenberg] before in an adult book. So I knew what to expect. It didn't make this one less necessary. I think it is important for stories to be told to all audiences, in appropriate ways of course. I found it a quick, absorbing read. I think for those that know less it might be even more so.

Last October I read Jonathan Freedland's The Escape Artist. It was an AMAZING, amazing read. Difficult topic/subject to be sure. Definitely thought provoking. This one for young adults seems tamer. But I do think it is still a good read.
… (more)
blbooks | 1 other review | Oct 9, 2023 |
I received an ARC of this title from School Library Journal in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Using a collected biographical approach, Sheinkin, in Born to Fly, has presented the history of early American aviation and the changing role of women in society, culminating in the Women’s Air Derby of 1929. The twenty women who participated in the derby came from all walks of life. Most Americans recognize the name of Amelia Earhart as an aviator pioneer, but Sheinkin introduces many other female pilots, like Marvel Crosson, Ruth Elder, Bobbi Trout, and Pancho Barnes, who all shared in the daring and fearless days of flight in its infancy. Flight races were particularly thrilling for spectators and participants alike as the inherent danger usually meant that at least one pilot died per race. Women made up a small percentage of pilots in the 1920s and societal norms prevented them from competing in air races until the 1929 derby. While women had received the right to vote in 1920, the facade of female frailty was still used by many in 1929 to protest the all-female air derby that stretched from Santa Monica to Cleveland. The question of sabotage, engineering design flaws, and interpersonal relationships makes an inherently difficult undertaking exponentially more dangerous for all the pilots in the 1929 Air Derby. Sheinkin’s thorough research and attention to detail make the era come alive for readers. Fans of Fly Girls by Keith O’Brien will greatly enjoy Born to Fly. Highly recommended for all middle school libraries.… (more)
scatlett | 2 other reviews | Aug 1, 2023 |



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