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Book Review: Amelia Earhart, Young Air Pioneer


Reading Level

Ages 9-12

Other Books in This Series

• William Henry Harrison
• Lew Wallace
• Juliette Low
• James Whitcomb Riley
• Eddie Rickenbacker
• Mahalia Jackson
• George Rogers Clark
John Hancock
Phillis Wheatley
Abner Doubleday

Jane Moore Howe's wonderful book Amelia Earhart, Young Air Pioneer is a breath of fresh air in the seemingly overcrowded Amelia Earhart marketplace. It seems like every other week or so brings a new book claiming to present the "real" story.

Well, this book does tell the real story. This book doesn't tell us what happened to Amelia on her fateful around-the-world journey. No, this book gives us facts from Amelia's early life. This book is a fun glimpse into Amelia's past.

Originally published in 1950, this book has lost none of its original charm. Earhart, after all, lived in the early part of the 20th Century. The events in her early life haven't changed. And the fact that the author got to know Amelia's sister, Muriel, very well adds to the authenticity.

The small Kansas town of Atchison comes to life through the eyes of Amelia and Muriel, whom she calls "Pidge." They have some normal kids-their-age adventures and some genuinely unique adventures; every one of these is fun and exciting to read, thanks in large part to the author's easy-to-read style.

This book does a good job of showing Amelia's life as a pioneer. She was a very spirited girl, and she didn't accept the explanation that girls just shouldn't do things simply because they were girls.

She, along with her sister and their friends, builds a roller coaster from roof to ground. When it's done, her friend Jared insists that he should go first because he's a boy. Amelia's reply: "Pooh! I'm not afraid. Being a boy doesn't make any difference."

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