Stranded: A ‘Novel’ Way of Introducing Aviation to Juniors

Eleven year old future pilot Talitha Sharrocks

from Julie E. Timlin

My eleven year old daughter, Talitha, dreams of following in her father’s footsteps and becoming a pilot herself one day. Her dad, Richard, based in Abu Dhabi, is a Training Captain with an international airline and I’m a writer. Talitha’s interest is not surprising; she has an aviator in her family. She sees her dad head off to exotic locations every week, hears stories of different cultures, sees photos of fascinating historical sights. She experiences his passion for his career and she never hears him complain about having to leave for the office! She also has his encouragement, has him there to reassure her that the fact that she is far from a math genius will not prevent her following her dream.

Talitha’s interest got me wondering about how children without the same exposure to aviation become interested in the industry. After all, they don’t come across pilots in their everyday life the way they do teachers, doctors, dentists and policemen and with modern day security concerns the days of visits to the cockpit, where children had the chance to chat to a pilot, are gone.

Together, we decided to see if they could make a small contribution towards inspiring the next generation of pilots. Drawing heavily on Richard’s expert knowledge, I’ve written a ‘Flight of the Phoenix’ style adventure novel for children, aged 7-14, about a young aviation enthusiast who finds himself stranded in the Canadian wilderness with a crashed DeHavilland Otter which he needs to repair and pilot out.

The book is a readily available, easily accessible promotional vehicle and I hope the novel may start the wheels of interest turning and offer early exposure to the fascinating world of flight. Just as a child reads a spy novel and wonders what it would be like to work for MI5 or the CIA, we hope a young person may read the novel, “Stranded” and contemplate becoming a pilot. I hope it will encourage children to take the next step of visiting an air show, an aviation museum, or joining an aviation program or camp, where they will get to experience aviation in all its glory.

Stranded, has just been published and is available from Amazon and major bookstores. A percentage of the proceeds will be donated to charities that help make aviation accessible to all juniors.

by J.E. Timlin
ISBN 978-1916173538

Thirteen-year old Nate now knew where the middle of nowhere was! It was right here and he was stranded in it.

The plane carrying him and five other kids to a dream holiday in Alaska had crashed in the midst of a horrific snowstorm. They were miles off their scheduled route and the weather was far too extreme for anyone to reach them, even if they could work out where to search.

Their pilot, the only adult in the group was in a coma and his best friend, Luke and a little girl were badly in need of immediate medical attention.

An impossible dilemma faced Nate:

Should the group hunker down and wait it out, hoping rescuers would reach them before the three injured or sick members of their party died?

Or, should he try to patch up their battered plane and attempt to fly them out himself, possibly killing them all?

Struggling for survival in the brutal Canadian winter, the ragged little group face problems on top of set-backs, with complications thrown in for good measure. Fixing the plane requires ingenuity and team work. Do Nate and his new friends have the problem-solving abilities, the determination and the courage to make it out of the wilderness alive?

Purchase at

  • Nicolle Gilsdorf
    Posted at 15:48h, 17 January Reply

    Hello, I agree with Liz, and no ill intent from me either. I am looking for books for my niece who is interested in flying. I wanted a few books for her about female pilots. Do you have any suggestions? Thank you! Nicolle

  • Liz Heizler
    Posted at 13:42h, 13 January Reply

    I am curious why you chose a male protagonist over a female? No accusations or ill intent, simply wondering if it was a conscious decision since your daughter wants to be a pilot. Have you considered writing a book where a young female must make difficult life and death decisions, fix her plane, trust her skills, and fly everyone to safety? Now that’s a book I’d read!

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