- 1 Characters
- 2 Chapter by Chapter Summary
- 2.1 Chapter One: Bridesmaids, Birthdays and Brainstorms
- 2.2 Chapter Two: Rock Around the Clock
- 2.3 Chapter Three: Show Biz
- 2.4 Chapter Four: Who Do We Appreciate?
- 2.5 Chapter Five: The Parade
- 2.6 Chapter Six: A Star
- 2.7 Chapter Seven: Flabbergasted
- 2.8 Chapter Eight: Songs of the Open Road
- 2.9 Chapter Nine: Disaster!
- 2.10 Chapter Ten: Groups
- 2.11 Chapter Eleven: Get To It!
- 2.12 Chapter Twelve: Maryellen Takes Off
- 2.13 Chapter Thirteen: The Flying Friends
- 2.14 Chapter Fourteen: The Most Important Thing
- 2.15 Inside Maryellen's World
- 3 Items Associated with Taking Off
- 4 See Also
- 5 References
- Maryellen Larkin
- Stan Larkin
- Kay Larkin
- Joan Larkin
- Carolyn Larkin
- Beverly Larkin
- Tom Larkin
- Mikey Larkin
- Davy Fenstermacher
- Karen King
- Karen Stohlman
- Angela Terlizzi
- Wayne Philpott
- Mrs. Humphrey
- Grandpop and Grandmom
Only in Taking Off
- Mr. Carey
- Carol Turner
- Mr. and Mrs. Fenstermacher
- Evelyn Danzinger
- Betty Plotnick
- Ron Oser
- Mr. Hagopian
Chapter by Chapter Summary
- Chapters One-Five can be seen as the equivalent of "Book Four."
Chapter One: Bridesmaids, Birthdays and Brainstorms
Chapter Two: Rock Around the Clock
Chapter Three: Show Biz
Chapter Four: Who Do We Appreciate?
Chapter Five: The Parade
- Chapters Six-Nine can be seen as the equivalent of "Book Five."
Chapter Six: A Star
Chapter Seven: Flabbergasted
Chapter Eight: Songs of the Open Road
Chapter Nine: Disaster!
- Chapters Ten-Fourteen can be seen as the equivalent of "Book Six."
Chapter Ten: Groups
Chapter Eleven: Get To It!
Chapter Twelve: Maryellen Takes Off
Chapter Thirteen: The Flying Friends
Chapter Fourteen: The Most Important Thing
Discusses the scientific and social changes of the 1950s. Topics covered:
- The symptoms of polio and the treatment of patients at isolation wards, and the celebratory relief after the polio vaccine was announced to be safe and effective.
- The fear some parents had over the polio vaccines, prompting doctors and health organizations to work promoting the vaccine, with great success.
- Vanguard 1, a small solar-powered satellite launched by the U.S. government at Cape Canaveral, Florida in 1958 - today it's the oldest man-made satellite still orbiting the earth.
- The rising popularity of road trips, as more American had cars and paid vacations, and the popular TV shows that made families want to explore the Wild West.
- Prejudices African Americans faced in the South, where they were segregated from whites and traveling wad different since most restaurants and hotels refused to serve them.
- Black children having to attend schools with inadequate conditions, despite the schools supposedly being "separate but equal".
- Brown vs Board of Education, a case that started after Linda Brown of Topeka, Kansas was barred from enrolling in her neighborhood's school and instead sent to a black school farther away.
- The case leading the Supreme Court to rule segregation as being harmful and unconstitutional - the decision becoming a landmark for the civil rights movement.