A Hunger for the Sky

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First Edition – June 2008     ISBN: 978-0-9818238-0-5    |   Second Edition – July 2013     ISBN: 978-0-9818238-2-9   


Read Review by Kristy Hemp, Vintage Airplane, Vol. 37, No. 12, 2009
Read Review by Eleanor Mills, Editor, Short Wing Piper News, Vol. 30, No. 6 (Nov-Dec 2008)
Read Review by Gretchen Reed, Education Director, International Women’s Air & Space Museum
Read Review by Robert L. Taylor, President and Founder, Antique Airplane Association; and Chairman of the Board, Airpower Museum, Inc.

A Hunger for the Sky 2nd Ed


Let’s go flying! This book lets you delve into the lives of nine women who have earned their wings. Learn about their challenges and their triumphs as they share their personal stories! These women range in age from 98 to 29, and from private to professional pilots — including a competitive sailplane pilot, a professional skywriter, flight instructors, a DC-3 captain, an aerobatic instructor, and airline pilots. These friendly and inspiring women possess a passion for flying, and have worked diligently to achieve their dreams. The author, herself a pilot, personally spent time with each of these women—and flew with many of them—in order to convey their stories. Foreword by Patty Wagstaff, Three-time U.S. National Aerobatic Champion.

6”x9” paperback, 232 pages, more than 200 photos.



  • It’s A Whole New World (Evelyn Bryan JohnsonGone West – May 10, 2012
  • Let’s Race (Vi Blowers-Stamm) Gone West – December 18, 2010
  • The Only Thing I Ever Wanted to Do (Jeanie Collins) Gone West – May 12, 2016
  • Never Stop Learning (Elaine Huf) Gone West – September 2, 2013
  • A Happy Face in the Sky (Suzanne Asbury-Oliver)
  • “Sugar Flight” — from 78 mph to .82 mach (Sandy Mercandetti)
  • Going Up for A Spin (Catherine Cavagnaro) [2018 National FAA Safety Team Representative of the Year]
  • From Pipe Dreams to Skytrains (Sheila Mabbitt)
  • Keep Looking Up (Sarah Kelly Arnold) [2017 Tennessee Aviation Hall of Fame Enshrinee]


  • “An appeal for all ages to take to the air! In the pages of this book are life stories of nine women who, largely through their own perseverance and dedication, became pilots. Each one had a goal, or, as sometimes happened, several goals – whether it was to own an aircraft, solo, earn a pilot certificate, or make that final leap into the instructor’s seat or the left seat of an airliner. These women surmounted all obstacles, either personal or external. We feel we know these women as we read of their first inkling of wanting to become airborne and follow them as their goals materialize. We know their feelings of frustration, their sacrifices made, and their final exultation as they realized that their dreams were now reality. As a gift book, A Hunger for the Sky is for everyone at any age or point in life. Read about these remarkable women as they reach for their personal skies.”– Ann Holtgren Pellegreno, author and pilot, 1990 inductee of the Iowa Aviation Hall of Fame, 1991 inductee of the Michigan Aviation Hall of Fame, 1997 inductee of the EAA Vintage Aircraft Association Hall of Fame
  • “Being a lady flyer herself, Sparky Barnes Sargent brings a unique perspective to this collection of female pilot biographies. Her own passion for aviation allows her to accurately describe the emotions and motivations which drive these remarkable women. From 98-year-old Evelyn Johnson to the youthful Sarah Kelly, all these delightful ladies exhibit a common desire—the desire to fly. Some have chosen to make aviation their life’s work in traditional ways, becoming instructors and fixed base operators. Others have taken different routes, including skywriting, aerobatics, and racing competition. But all are sisters under the skin; determined women who have chosen to compete and succeed in the mostly male world of aviation. The author has applied her special skills to convey the stories of these lady flyers with a fortunate matching of subject and talent. Every university with a women’s studies curriculum should have this exciting book on its required reading list.” – Chester L. Peek, aviation historian, author, 2007 inductee of the EAA Vintage Aircraft Association Hall of Fame
  • “In my very long career as an editor of many aviation publications, I have never met another writer with the multiple skills and talent possessed by Sparky Barnes Sargent. Sparky was my writer of choice for any complex personality article. She insisted on personally meeting the subjects, and delving into their minds to reveal the thoughts, memories and accomplishments that made the individuals newsworthy. Sparky met with each woman featured in this book, and even flew with many of them. I know several of these outstanding women, and Sparky has indeed captured the essence of their motivation. It is an inspirational read for those who believe that anything is possible, if you want it badly enough.” – Norm Goyer, aviation publishing consultant
  • “Sparky Barnes Sargent has seamlessly woven this collection of unique and diverse stories into a rich fabric of many textures, and she has done so while allowing these pilots the opportunity to tell their stories in their own words. She has chosen her subjects carefully, and their compelling stories span more than 70 years of aviation’s still-young history. She captures the spirit of women who may not always have seen themselves as pioneers, but each has made a contribution to the history of women in flight. It is a book that should be given to every young woman who yearns to fly.” – Charles H. Stites, aviation photographer and writerSupport independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.