Flying Adventurers

Juvenile Aviation Series Books in America, 1909–1964


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SKU: 9781476688787 Categories: , , ,

About the Book

Aviation books were a unique and prolific subgenre of American juvenile literature from the early to mid-20th century, drawing upon the nation’s intensifying interest. The first books of this type, Harry L. Sayler’s series Airship Boys, appeared shortly after the Wright brothers’ first successful flight in 1909. Following Charles Lindbergh’s solo flight across the Atlantic, popular series like Ted Scott and Andy Lane established the “golden age” of juvenile aviation literature.
This work examines the 375 juvenile aviation series titles published between 1909 and 1964. It weaves together several thematic threads, including the placement of aviation narratives within the context of major historical events, the technical accuracy in depictions of flying machines and the ways in which characters reflected the culture of their eras. Three appendices provide publication data for each series, a list of referenced aircraft and an annotated bibliography; there is a full index.

About the Author(s)

David K. Vaughan is a retired Air Force officer and educator. He lives in San Antonio, Texas.

Bibliographic Details

David K. Vaughan
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 339
Bibliographic Info: 50 photos, appendices, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2023
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8878-7
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4877-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface 1
General Introduction 3
Part 1—Early Flight 11
Introduction 11
Harry L. Sayler’s Airship Boys Series 13
Ashton Lamar’s The Aeroplane Boys Series 18
Captain Wilbur Lawton’s Boy Aviators Series 20
Edward S. Ellis’ Flying Boys Series 27
Margaret Burnham’s Girl Aviators Series 28
Edith Van Dyne’s Flying Girls Series 31
John Luther Langworthy’s Bird Boys/Aeroplane Boys Series 33
James Otis’ Silver Fox Farm Series 37
Frank Walton’s Flying Machine Boys Series 40
Roy Rockwood’s Dave Dashaway Series 44
Part 2—World War I and After 49
Introduction 49
Horace Porter’s Our Young Aeroplane Scouts Series 51
Charles Amory Beach’s Air Service Boys Series 55
Laurence La Tourette Driggs’ Arnold Adair Series 59
Austin Bishop’s Bob Thorpe Sky Fighter Series 63
H.H. Arnold’s Bill Bruce Series 65
Captain Frank Cobb’s Aviator Series 70
Part 3—The Golden Age: Exploration and Adventure 74
Introduction 74
Franklin W. Dixon’s Ted Scott Series 76
John Prentice Langley’s Aviation Series 83
Noel Sainsbury’s Billy Smith Flying Ace Series 90
Eustace Adams’ Andy Lane Series 96
Keith Russell’s The Young Birdmen Series 106
Irving Crump’s Cloud Patrol Series 109
Eugene Martin’s Randy Starr Series 112
Richard H. Stone’s Slim Tyler Air Stories Series 114
L.P. Wyman’s Hunniwell Boys Series 119
E.J. Craine’s Airplane Boys Series 125
Part 4—The Golden Age: Girls’ Series 132
Introduction 132
Mildred Wirt’s Ruth Darrow Series 133
Edith Lavell’s Linda Carlton Series 136
Bess Moyers’ Girl Flyers Series 139
Harrison Bardwell’s Airplane Girls Series 141
Part 5—The Golden Age: Pilots as Professionals 145
Introduction 145
Ambrose Newcomb’s Sky Detective Series 146
Noel Sainsbury’s Bill Bolton Series 149
Dorothy Wayne’s Dorothy Dixon Series 153
Philip Lee Wright’s Air Pilot Series 156
Percy Keese Fitzhugh’s Mark Gilmore Series 158
Graham M. Dean’s Tim Murphy Series 160
Edwin Green’s Andy High Airship Series 164
Harris Patton’s Young Eagles Series 168
Van Powell’s Sky Scouts Series 171
Van Powell’s Call of the Clouds Series 175
Lewis Theiss’ Jimmy Donnelly Air Mail Series 178
Lewis Theiss’ Ginger Hale Series 182
Frederic Nelson Litten’s Johnny Caruthers Series 188
Howard M. Brier’s Barry Martin (Skycraft) Series 191
Part 6—The Golden Era: Military Fliers 195
Introduction 195
Thomson Burtis’ Russ Farrell, Airman Series 196
Thomson Burtis’ Rex Lee Aviation Series 200
Thomson Burtis’ Slim Evans Series 203
Covington Clarke’s Red McGee Series 205
Frederic Nelson Litten’s Jimmie Rhodes Series 209
Thomson Burtis’ Air Combat Series 212
Eustace Adams’ Air Combat Series 215
Blaine and Dupont Miller’s Bob Wakefield Series 217
Part 7—World War II 222
Introduction 222
Ted Copp’s Steve Knight Series 223
Lewis Theiss’ Criswell and Dewire Series 225
Robert Sidney Bowen’s Dave Dawson Series 230
Robert Sidney Bowen’s Red Randall Series 236
Al Avery’s Yankee Flier Series 242
Canfield Cook’s Lucky Terrell Series 247
Part 8—Flight Stewardess Series 254
Introduction 254
Patricia O’Malley’s Carol Rogers Series 255
Patricia O’Malley’s Caddy Palmer Series 258
Elisabeth Lansing’s Nancy Naylor Series 260
Margaret Hill’s Beth Dean Air Hostess Series 265
Helen Wells and Julie Tatham’s Vicki Barr Flight Stewardess Series 268
Part 9—Postwar and the Space Age Period 279
Introduction 279
Alan Gregg’s Reed Conroy Series 280
Milt Caniff’s Steve Canyon Series 285
Rutherford G. Montgomery’s Kent Barstow Series 288
Donald Wollheim’s Mike Mars Series 293
Conclusion 301
Appendix 1: Juvenile Aviation Series Titles 303
Appendix 2: List of Aircraft Mentioned in American Juvenile Aviation Series Books 318
Bibliography 321
Index 327

Book Reviews & Awards

• “In terms of being an outstanding reference, this book has it all, and Vaughan’s comprehensive and meticulous presentation is laudable. Flying Adventurers should be not only a worthy read and addition to the libraries of juvenile aviation literature fans, but also to the libraries of the general population as well. We can all learn much from it.”—Dime Novel Round Up

• “This book offers evidence of a lifetime of experience.”—Newsboy

• “You will learn something no matter how large your series book collection will be. This is the sort of book that will be of interest not only to public libraries and academic instructions, but also to the hobbyist and enthusiast. It is a fine reference book as well as an enjoyable read. The appendices are especially useful when one wants to quickly check on a series title, and I appreciated the fact that Kirk also listed all of the aircraft which appeared in the books.”—Yellowback Library