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You Can't Do That, Amelia! Hardcover – September 1, 2008
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From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 2—In this short picture book about a few episodes in Amelia Earhart's life, readers can see that, even as a child, Earhart always dared to try the things she dreamed about. While growing up in Kansas, she imagined swooping down in a roller coaster from the shed rooftop to the backyard, and despite her cousins' skepticism ("You can't do that, Amelia!"), successfully built a track and cart out of scrap wood and roller-skate wheels. When she was older, she dreamed of flying her own plane and also accomplished this goal, though her family expressed their doubts. In 1929, when she vowed to complete the first Women's Air Derby, reporters laughed at her, but she came in third. Unfortunately, a book that starts out as a promising introduction to Earhart's life ends abruptly with her trans-Atlantic flight in 1932. Despite the author's in-depth research, the story is slight and feels unfinished. Most of the information is relegated to the five pages of background notes, which include a biographical summary, a time line, and sources for further reading. The main narrative does not cover the mystery surrounding the around-the-world flight that marks Earhart's place in history. Attractive because of the colorful pencil and watercolor artwork, yet disappointing for the lack of a substantial text.—Blair Christolon, Prince William Public Library System, Manassas, VA
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As a girl, despite her cousins' claims she couldn't, Amelia Earhart built a roller coaster using wood and roller-skate wheels so that she could feel like she was flying...Kemly's soft illustrations suit this heavily fictionalized portrait of a stalwart heroine, which...will likely inspire young readers and lead to further investigation. --Kirkus Reviews
This is a colorful, hand-sketched short biography of Amelia Earhart for children in the upper primary or lower middle years. Whether building her own version of a roller coaster as a young person or establishing a number of aviation milestones, Earhart could usually do whatever she set her mind on doing. The book presents this aspect of her personality by the frequent repetition of the statement, "You can't do that, Amelia. But Amelia did." The overall positive tone presented is supportive of young people fulfilling their dreams. The book concludes with a short biography and chronology of Earhart's life, plus a reading list of titles for young people, three websites on the famous aviatrix and other women in aviation, a list of American Museums, and a bibliography for adult readers. --Science Books and Films
Amelia Earhart is an iconic figure in American history. This biography shows the reader several events in Earhart's life where other people told her she wouldn't be able to do it, but Earhart proved them wrong. Always strong willed and adamant about accomplishing her goals, she pushed forth with determination and spirit. Her life was filled with dreams and new accomplishments which the book highlights: taking flying lessons, becoming a pilot, flying in the first Women's Air Derby, and flying solo across the Atlantic Ocean. This book ends with Earhart crossing the Atlantic and landing in a farmer's field in Ireland, succeeding at one of her greatest dreams. Klier also includes more about Earhart, a timeline of important dates, Web sites, a bibliography, and several places to visit to learn more about aviation and Amelia Earhart. Wonderfully illustrated by Kemly, her soft and flowing illustrating style gives the story another dimension, making the characters come alive on each page. Add this book to your collection and your teachers and students will thank you for an inspirational book they will enjoy again and again. --Library Media Connection
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Top Customer Reviews
The book ends with Earhart's successful transatlantic flight, and does not cover her fatal attempt to fly around the world This allows the book to end on a positive note for young readers (ages 5 and up, I would say). However, the appendix includes a complete biography and timeline of her life.
I've included this book in my online Gender Equality Bookstore.
This well-researched book helps children get a better sense of young Amelia Earhart's flair for innovation and her entrepreneurial zeal. The vivid illustrations and clear text do a good job communicating Amelia's uncanny ability to defy people's low expectations of women's ability to succeed in the male-dominated profession of flying. Investing in human resources, overcoming discrimination, and pursuing innovative ideas are all powerful lessons in economics. Weaving these lessons into an entertaining story about a popular heroine gives this book its strong appeal.