ON THE WINGS OF THE
What an in-depth creative approach to history! A
wonderfully told, thought-provoking adventure story about the making of
an aircraft and three slaves who flew it to freedom. While that in
itself is of major significance, it's hardly the entire story.
Mr. Kigel presents this unique tale with each
character described in such detail the reader can virtually perceive
facial expressions at every situation. This book has nearly everything:
suspense, wit, compassion, detailed craftsmanship, and of course – we
are talking about slavery here – pain and empathy.
Using the technique to command the reader's
continued absorption, the author intersperses cliffhangers very
effectively. I had to peruse several of the previous chapter’s last
sentences to ensure that I didn't miss something before moving on. What
inspires me is that an author of non-African descent can impart this
story with such warmth and astounding sensitivity.
Combining historical accuracy with creativity is
the perfect combination that makes ON THE WINGS OF THE WIND a
thoroughly enjoyable piece of work. The book is literally a work of art.
~ CRAIG AMOS, Houston, Texas
Excellent read. A PERFECT 10! It is amazing and I
was hooked on it from beginning to end. I received the book about two
weeks ago and read it with admiration. This book deserves to be in
every school classroom and public library because it shows that you can
accomplish anything in life. I would highly recommend it to anyone who
likes historical fiction.
The story line was easy to follow and the
characters leaped from the pages. Their lives were so interesting to
me! This book is beautifully written and its message is subliminal yet
powerful. The author's research on slavery is impressive and I think
that he has really captured the thoughts and feelings of slavery that
are very deep and hopeful. I can feel the author's deepest passions as
they flow throughout the pages. I hope he will share more, and I hope
his plea is read, heard and acted upon; much more than just being read.
Overall it is one of the most phenomenal books I've ever read.
~ SIEBRA MUHAMMAD, New Orleans,
This is not a review of ON THE WINGS OF THE WIND by
Richard Kigel. It is more about how and why having read this book it
has inspired me to relate why I call ON THE WINGS OF THE WIND a living,
breathing description of my historical cultural means of survival for
over 300 years of racial discrimination.
And we have been able to do so because in every
family we have an extended family unit made up of folks like Auntie Bee
and Mose and Josiah.
Our cultural unsung hero is Auntie Bee, a tower of
strength in physical and mental courage.
Mose is the best example of what our Christian
Bible means when it talks about “seek and ye shall find.” Mose fears
the unknown but he faces it head on using his common sense and skills
as a handyman without knowing he was actually doing the work of a
flight engineer. (smile)
Josiah represents the generation taught by the
generation before him—how and why he must not be allowed to suffer the
ills, limitations and stagnation of mind and body. And he is in charge
of doing the same for the generation to follow—the two little ones. He
is charged to use all he has learned to continue to seek and find any
way to educate himself and the coming generation. As a free man he
comes to teach the next and the next generation to achieve the same
kinds of advances that will bring peace on earth and good will towards
mankind no matter how hard it is. That is why he wrote this (fictional)
memoir---so future generations will know the glorious and magnificent
story of history’s first flight.
This is my culture, my history which has been
covered so expertly and so inspirationally and brought so much
enjoyment reading ON THE WINGS OF THE WIND by Richard Kigel.
~ IRMA ROBINSON, Marysville,
Richard Kigel's own flight of imagination is as
remarkable as the journeys--past and present--taken by the characters
in ON THE WINGS OF THE WIND. It is an original, moving, exciting story
that will certainly appeal to readers of all ages!
~ GENEVIEVE SMITH, Greenwich
Village, New York
History's first successful flight is told with a
blend of fiction and factual history, science, and fantasy in a highly
spirited adventure. Richard Kigel's ON THE WINGS OF THE WIND: The
Untold Story of History's First Flight is brilliantly put to pen and
paper. A masterful account of a collaboration of spirited ingenuity and
perseverance - a triumph of the true human spirit as portrayed by the
actions of an American African Slave and ancestor to the fourth African
American Woman Astronaut. The slave Josiah Brantley is the
Great-Great-Great-Granddaddy of Dr. Sharon Brantley, N.A.S.A. Scientist
Josiah Brantley flew to freedom from his Virginia
to Pennsylvania during the 19th century. We've been told many things
about the past - most of which have proven to be false...just plain ole
lies come to light over and over again. Remember the Wright Brothers -
Wilbur and Orville? Forget about it!
~ GREGORY BOULWARE,
ON THE WINGS OF THE WIND was my summer read. The
depiction of slavery and the whippings just cut me to the core of my
soul. The visuals were clear and strong. It truly placed me at scene
that became surreal for me. I felt the back lashes. I felt their skin
tear open, and I felt their wounds. Periodically I felt waves of
The book took a rest on my cocktail table for about
two weeks before I could pick it back up and continue. Mr. Kigel wrote
in such a way that appeared to be up close and personal. I enjoyed how
he pulled the story together scientifically. When it comes to putting
together an aircraft I had no idea how he would demonstrate the
mechanics. I commend him on the research to highlight history and
explain the scientific.
Although it was a difficult read in the beginning,
in the end it was my pleasure to read. I enjoyed the journey! I was so
hoping that Maria would pull this story together and connect all the
dots and find Josiah! She was trying her hardest to get that big
Mr. Kigel is truly a brilliant writer and gifted in
his craft. Reading the book has given me another level of confidence to
write and to trust in my ability as I know I can.
~ TRACEY SPEARS, Cleveland, Ohio