Escape at 10,000 Feet

Unsolved Case Files

Written and Illustrated by Tom Sullivan

On November 24, 1971, a man named Dan Cooper boarded Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 305 from Portand, OR bound for Seattle, WA. Once seated, he ordered a drink and passed a note to the flight attendant. She put it in her pocket without reading it. The man insisted she read the note, which said, “Miss, I have a bomb here and I would like you to sit by me.” This is the true story of D.B. Cooper and what became known at the FBI as NORJACK. It’s a fascinating story and told here as part of the Unsolved Case Files series.

The book is divided into 5 parts that cover the hijacking from start to finish, including the discovery of some of the stolen money eight years later. The artwork adds a hip quality to the book, using typewriter font to describe the crime, mixing with the author’s understated artwork, real sketches, pictures and diagrams. There are even little red-colored panels scattered throughout that add modern commentary on life in the ’60’s and ’70’s, like smoking on airplanes and no metal detectors at airports. (It was 11 days after this incident that the FAA ordered all carry-on items be searched and metal detectors used at every airport.)

It’s like you are reading a visual case file from that time. Every page has interesting text and illustrations – the combination is the selling point of this book. Kids who love mysteries or history will really enjoy this. I knew very little about D.B. Cooper, but learned so much from reading this super kid-friendly book.

Reviewed by Andrea LeBaron, Media Clerk, Upland Terrace Elementary
Review shared in May 2021
Rating: ★★★★★ (5 stars)
Interest Level: Grades 2-5

Author/Illustrator Website:

Escape at 10,000 Feet
Written and Illustrated by Tom Sullivan
Balzer + Bray, imprints of HarperCollinsPublishers
94 pages
Release Date: March 2, 2021
ISBN: 9780062991515
A review copy was provided by the publisher.

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