Shaesta Waiz Soars Around the World
by Nancy Roe Pimm
illustrated by Alexandra Bye
Beaming Books, Minneapolis, 2020. 44 pages.
Review written November 14, 2020, from a library book
This picture book biography tells the story of Shaesta Waiz, who was born in Afghanistan and came to America as a refugee with her family when she was a little girl. As a child, she had a lot of fears, including a fear of riding in an airplane. But after overcoming that fear on a trip to see her cousin in Florida, Shaesta decided to become a pilot.
Shaesta went on to fly solo around the world. But she made her trip distinctive by making many stops along the way to speak to girls about all that they can grow up to accomplish, including a stop in her native Afghanistan.
Shaesta decided she would not just fly all the way around the world. She’d also meet with young people everywhere. She’d get them excited about careers in science, technology, engineering, and math to chase down dreams of their own!
Shaesta ended up being the first woman from Afghanistan and the youngest woman in history to fly a single-engine aircraft around the world.
This is a fascinating and inspiring story about someone I wouldn’t have heard of otherwise. It’s great to read about a refugee girl who followed her dreams and did something big.
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