written by Mara Dal Corso; illustrated by Daniela Volpari
2016 (Kane Miller)
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher
My name is Amelia. I am ten, and I am ready to take off.
Someday, I will be in a scrapbook. Someday, I will fly.
Amelia Earhart was flying before we ever knew it. In the field behind her grandparents’ home in Kansas, she soared as she climbed rocks and jumped with arms spread out. She could feel the wind carrying her away. When she was 7, her uncle built a launchpad for Amelia’s homemade flying machine. It was a short flight, but it spurred the young aviator to greater heights despite the resulting skinned knees. A trip to the state fair yielded a roller coaster ride with her Papa. Thrills came not only from the rise and falls, but also the speed. But this paled in comparison to what emerged from the clouds. Amelia’s future, in the form of an airplane, was now well on its way.
We now have yet another reason to love Italy. Published in 2015, this picture book import is a delightful recreation of the childhood of Amelia Earhart. Why did she decided to become a pilot? The answer, and what I think is also the lesson of this book, lies in the experiences. It is the adventures of our lives, not the things we procure, that make it worth living. Amelia’s spirit is formed by her play in the fields of her grandparents. Learning to fly and crash, made her stronger. Trips, like to the state fair, inspired her to the daredevil pursuits of her adulthood. If we want to soar like Amelia, we’re going to have to experience some living and not just being. Provide the children in your life with experiences that will make an impression. You may just have the next Amelia Earhart in your backyard or classroom.