October 16, 2009

The Original 'Balloon Boy' - Cromwell Dixon

Of course Cromwell Dixon was the world's first 'Balloon Boy'. I find the sensationalism of today's modern story about the phantom Balloon Boy very interesting.

Having written the true story about a boy of 13 who built and flew his own balloon powered airship, I imagine the real life events of 1907 had some of the same aire of sensationalism.

There are some interesting opinions online:

Mleswan tweeted, "Oh sweet irony. The kid's name is FALCON?!?! Oh that's classic."

Neoncow said: "I don't care what they say. A father who builds a flying saucer hot air balloon with his son is a good father."

Mossyskeleton: "I wonder if his dad is going to ground him when he gets back."

I imagine that there was much stern criticism of Mrs. Dixon for allowing her son to go flying off into the clouds. But how could she stop him when he had spent years working day and night to achieve such a thing? In fact Cromwell Dixon safely made hundreds of balloon ascensions over the years without ever getting hurt.

It was only those new fangled machine aeroplanes that eventually got him into trouble.
I wonder if the mother of the Wright Brothers had similar reservations about her foolhardy boys out playing with crazy kites.

In any event,
my book, titled Cromwell Dixon’s Sky-Cycle is the amazing true story of America’s forgotten ‘Boy Aeronaut’, who actually built and flew his own flying bicycle over the skyscrapers of Columbus, Ohio in 1907.

It’s a true story of adventure, determination, courage and perseverance. 1907 was an amazing age of new invention in America. For the first time in history people were flying and even building flying machines in their own backyards.

This book is a real ‘boy’s book’, filled with illustrations of amazing home-made inventions built in Cromwell Dixon’s workshop that capture the inventive spirit of the times.

The reviews have been very uplifting... it's a shame that it's not being carried by the major chain bookstores.

From Kirkus Review: A fine tribute to teenage inventors everywhere “Dare to dream” is the clear message here.

From School Library Journal:
This lively account is filled with informative and fascinating images. Young inventors as well as aviation aficionados will be intrigued. This fictionalized account is also a great example of the importance of determination, derring-do, and imagination.–Barbara Elleman, Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Amherst, MA


Marion Eldridge said...

Great post, John! I can't believe that the major chains aren't carrying this book! With such wonderful reviews
it doesn't make sense. Love the book! Love the post!

John Nez said...

I'm afraid so. But given the sensational response of this modern news article, I'd think that whoever decided this book wasn't worth putting on the shelf probably made a mistake.

Oh well... maybe it will bet a little promotional wind in the sails now.