The Flying Girl

How Aida de Acosta Learned to Soar

Illustrated by Sara Palacios
In Stock: Usually ships within 1 business day

About The Book

In this beautiful picture book filled with soaring words and buoyant illustrations, award-winners Margarita Engle and Sara Palacios tell the inspiring true story of Aída de Acosta, the first woman to fly a motorized aircraft.

On a lively street in the lovely city of Paris, a girl named Aída glanced up and was dazzled by the sight of an airship. Oh, how she wished she could soar through the sky like that! The inventor of the airship, Alberto, invited Aída to ride with him, but she didn’t want to be a passenger. She wanted to be the pilot.

Aída was just a teenager, and no woman or girl had ever flown before. She didn’t let that stop her, though. All she needed was courage and a chance to try.

About The Author

Photograph © Marshall W. Johnson

Margarita Engle is the national Young People’s Poet Laureate, and the first Latino to receive that honor. She is the Cuban-American author of many verse novels, including The Surrender Tree, a Newbery Honor winner, and The Lightning Dreamer, a PEN Literary Award for Young Adult Literature winner. Her verse memoir, Enchanted Air, received the Pura Belpré Award, a Walter Dean Myers Award Honor, and was a finalist for the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction, among others. Her picture book Drum Dream Girl received the Charlotte Zolotow Award. Margarita was born in Los Angeles, but developed a deep attachment to her mother’s homeland during childhood summers with relatives. She continues to visit Cuba as often as she can. Visit her at

Product Details

  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers (March 2018)
  • Length: 40 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781481445023
  • Grades: P - 3
  • Ages: 4 - 8

Raves and Reviews

* "A beautiful account of a young woman who knew that all she needed to reach her dream was courage and a chance to try."

– Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

"A great resource for STEM classrooms and readers interested in historical figures who paved the way for modern day pioneers."

– School Library Journal

“Playful language with intermittent rhymes and repetition results in an enjoyable easy-to-read biography for young children of a little-known historical figure . . . De Acosta’s determination in making her dream come true serves as an inspiration to young girls: they can soar in whatever endeavor they choose to pursue.”

– Booklist

“Writing in upbeat, intermittently rhyming verse, . . . Engle delivers a sweetly uplifting story about a girl who ‘only needed courage and a chance to try.’”

– Publishers Weekly

"This story based on the life of a Latina air-and-space pioneer is a welcome addition to the growing list of picture-book biographies of women who defied expectations.”

– The Horn Book

Resources and Downloads

High Resolution Images

More books from this author: Margarita Engle