UP & Down: The Adventures of John Jeffries, First American to Fly
UP & Down: The Adventures of John Jeffries, First American to Fly
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Annotation: A picture book chronicle of the ballooning misadventures of scientist and aviation pioneer John Jeffries describes how his innovative approaches to a number of dangerous challenges helped him pursue his ambition to become the first person to fly across the English Channel.
Genre: Biographies
Catalog Number: #167331
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
No other formats available
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Pages: 39 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-580-89812-2
ISBN 13: 978-1-580-89812-6
Dewey: 921
LCCN: 2017012706
Dimensions: 29 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
This witty picture-book biography describes the adventures of eighteenth-century John Jeffries, an early dabbler in meteorology and a respected physician who, due to his Loyalist tendencies, found himself exiled to England after the Revolutionary War. Intrigued by the early hot-air balloon flights of the Montgolfier brothers of France, Jeffries offered to bankroll a British attempt at crossing the English Channel, contingent upon his inclusion as a passenger. The majority of the action concentrates on this harrowing but eventually successful endeavor, graphic details included (at one point, the two balloonists relieved themselves over the side of the gondola to lighten the load). Jeffries was believed to be the first scientist to conduct aerial research (measuring temperature, humidity, and air pressure), and his subsequent fame allowed for his return to America t no more adventures aloft. The detailed pencil-and-watercolor illustrations add humor, and an epilogue, bibliography, quotation sources, and an author's note round things off. This engaging and somewhat wry account will aptly supplement STEM research assignments.
Horn Book
John Jeffries, a loyalist who moved to England after the Revolutionary War, became the first American to study weather conditions in a hot-air balloon, as well as to cross the English Channel in one (with copilot Jean-Pierre Blanchard). Brown relates the story with humor and woven-in (sourced) quotations. Pencil and watercolor illustrations vary in perspective and add cartoonish wit. Bib.
Kirkus Reviews
Brown's latest (Older than Dirt, 2017, etc.) follows the journey of balloonist John Jeffries, doctor and meteorologist, through his flight across the English Channel in 1785.At the end of the American Revolution, Jeffries, a Tory, fled to England, where he was swiftly engulfed in "balloon mania." An avid amateur meteorologist, Jeffries was thrilled by the possibility of recording new information at different altitudes. Jeffries quickly teamed up with Frenchman Jean-Pierre Blanchard (husband of famed balloonist Sophie Blanchard) for two flights. For their second, the duo had an outlandish proposition: to be the first to fly across the English Channel from Britain to France. Unfortunately, the flight didn't go as planned, and the duo was forced to unload as much ballast as possible—including their clothes—before ultimately landing unharmed, albeit underdressed, in France. Brown's oil-pencil-and-watercolor illustrations are true to form, but readers may find themselves with more questions than answers thanks to uneven plotting and a lack of focus. Slight space is devoted to Jeffries pre-Channel flight, 18th-century ballooning culture, and the science of ballooning, while over half of the book is devoted to his most famous flight. Frustratingly, this causes the narrative to read like neither a full introductory biography of Jeffries' life nor a strict account of the Channel flight. Jeffries, Blanchard, and spectators are all white."Up and down" indeed. (endnote, author's note, bibliography, sources) (Informational picture book. 6-9)
School Library Journal
Gr 13 Mentions of ballooning and weather science are somewhat eclipsed by the narrative of John Jeffries's two balloon voyages in this nonfiction picture book. Jeffries, a Bostonian doctor, moved to London after siding with the British during the American Revolution. In the 1780s, experiments with hot air and gas balloons started a balloon craze, and Jeffries, who kept a daily weather diary, saw it as a way to record weather data at different altitudes. After that first science-focused trip, he and his somewhat opportunist partner Jean-Pierre Blanchard set out on a more dangerous journey to become the first balloonists to cross the English Channel. Brown humorously details the ensuing drama as the balloon rises and sinks, and some of the best spreads in the book are of Jeffries and Blanchard unloading all the extraneous equipment to lessen their weight. One last ditch effort leads to an image of two men relieving themselves off the back of the balloon, which is sure to get a giggle out of the intended audience. The prose describes Jeffries's questions about why the balloon rose and sunk that are disappointingly never answered. VERDICT Light on science, but an entertaining supplemental purchase for elementary nonfiction collections. Kacy Helwick, New Orleans Public Library
Bibliography Index/Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Word Count: 1,864
Reading Level: 5.3
Interest Level: 1-4
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 5.3 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 196942 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:5.6 / points:3.0 / quiz:Q75001
Lexile: 860L
Guided Reading Level: Q
When revolution came to America, poor Dr. John Jeffries of Boston made the unfortunate choice of remaining loyal to the king. At war's end, the king's rule was thrown out, and with it went Dr. Jeffries.
            The doctor settled in London. There, he cared for his patients and kept a daily weather diary, for Jeffries was a man devoted to useful science. It was this interest that would soon send him soaring.

Excerpted from Up and Down: The Adventures of John Jeffries, First American to Fly by Don Brown
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

The incomparable Don Brown chronicles the ballooning misadventures of John Jeffries, scientist and aviation pioneer.

Swept up by the European ballooning craze of the 1780s, Dr. John Jeffries longed to become the first person to fly across the English Channel. But first he had to outwit a rascally copilot, keep the balloon from bursting, and avoid crashing into the sea. The good doctor's quick-thinking solutions will surprise young readers--and keep them giggling. Orbis Pictus and Sibert Honor winner Don Brown tells this quirky true story with his usual accuracy and heart.

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