Monday, May 31, 2004
The Wright Sister: Katharine Wright and Her Famous Brothers
Maurer, Richard. 2003. THE WRIGHT SISTER: KATHARINE WRIGHT AND HER FAMOUS BROTHERS. Brookfield, CT. Roaring Brook Press. ISBN 0761325646 [Suggested Grade Levels 6 and up]
SUMMARY and ANALYSIS
Working from Katharine Wright's papers, correspondence, and family archives, Maurer chronicles the events surrounding Wilbur and Orville, while all along filling in the details of their younger sister's life and the relationship among the three.
Maurer’s work spotlights the life of Katharine Wright, the lesser known Wright family member whose contributions to her brothers’ inventions were invaluable. Clearly reflecting the societal rules of the time, the book eloquently portrays Katharine as an intelligent woman whose sense of obligation to her family often kept her from pursuing her own dreams. Initially, she ran the household for her older brothers and their father during the years when Orville and Wilbur were developing and promoting their airplane, then later took on an important role in the family company. Maurer’s use of primary source documents adds great value to the work; he includes quotations from diaries and selections from correspondence between family members. The layout is spacious and reader friendly; pages include well-chosen, black-and-white photos which help visualize the Wrights and their times. In addition, Maurer includes an extensive source list and bibliography.
After reading Katharine Wright’s biography, teens could write an “I Am” poem by analyzing information about her character from Maurer’s account. After completing the poem, they could illustrate the poem using details from the book.
Other stories about the Wright family:
Freedman, Russell. THE WRIGHT BROTHERS: HOW THEY INVENTED THE AIRPLANE. ISBN 0823408752
Wright, Orville. HOW WE INVENTED THE AIRPLANE: AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY. ISBN 0486256626
Yolen, Jane. MY BROTHER’S FLYING MACHINE: WILBUR, ORVILLE, AND ME. ISBN 0316971596
By Rose Brock