I am Amelia Earhart

I am Amelia Earhart

5.0 2
by Brad Meltzer, Christopher Eliopoulos

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We can all be heroes. That’s the inspiring message of this lively, collectible picture book biography series from New York Times bestselling author Brad Meltzer.
“Kids always search for heroes, so we might as well have a say in it,” Brad Meltzer realized, and so he envisioned this friendly, fun approach to biography –…  See more details below


We can all be heroes. That’s the inspiring message of this lively, collectible picture book biography series from New York Times bestselling author Brad Meltzer.
“Kids always search for heroes, so we might as well have a say in it,” Brad Meltzer realized, and so he envisioned this friendly, fun approach to biography – for his own kids, and for yours. Each book tells the story of one of America’s icons in an entertaining, conversational way that works well for the youngest nonfiction readers, those who aren’t quite ready for the Who Was series. Each book focuses on a particular character trait that made that role model heroic. For example, Amelia Earhart refused to accept no for an answer; she dared to do what no one had ever done before, and became the first woman to fly a plane all the way across the Atlantic Ocean. This book follows her from childhood to her first flying lessons and onward to her multi-record-breaking career as a pilot.
This engaging series is the perfect way to bring American history to life for young children, and to inspire them to strive and dream.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Thriller writer Meltzer, who also hosts the history-themed TV show Decoded, introduces groundbreaking historical figures in the Ordinary People Change the World series, which launches with this title and I Am Abraham Lincoln (a third book, I Am Rosa Parks, is scheduled for summer 2014). Beyond the underlying message that average people are capable of greatness, the conceit on which the series turns is that each famous protagonist is pictured as a child, even at the peak of his or her adult accomplishments and fame. Eliopoulos draws Earhart as an eager, try-anything kind of girl whose oversize head, stumpy limbs, and expressive reactions strongly evoke the work of Charles Schulz and Bill Watterson. Early scenes show Earhart getting her first taste of flight via a homemade roller coaster (“That was awesome!” shouts Amelia after her “un-ladylike” crash landing), before the book moves on to her record-setting feats of aviation. Anachronisms are embraced wholeheartedly, and moments of humor balance out the plainly stated message: “Whatever your dream is, chase it.” Archival photos wrap up this entertaining and inspiring primer, though source notes are absent. Ages 5–8. (Jan.)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—Imagine, if you will, two famous Americans whose childhood selves were strong and portentous of their future adult lives but whose bodies stayed small and childlike as they achieved their incredible feats. Meltzer has chosen to portray these iconic figures in this way, perhaps in the hopes that modern-day kids will more easily identify with them. Both narratives are told in first person, which raises doubts as to whether they could truly be called biographies. For example, Amelia Earhart recounts an incident in which she and her sister built a ramp off the side of a shed so they could ride a cart off the roof. Her brother comes along and asks, "Amelia, are you sure this is a good idea?" She replies, "This isn't a good idea. It's the BEST idea!" Such conversations and the lack of resources calls the books' informational value into question. On the other hand, they each talk about the character traits that made Earhart and Lincoln wonderful role models and determined in their life pursuits. The illustrations, while a bit odd, are also rather charming. Their comiclike nature and the brief, readable text will appeal to young readers. Adults who read these books with children will have plenty to discuss regarding the hard work, persistence, and determination each person showed, as long as it's clear that the books themselves are fictionalized.—Maggie Chase, Boise State University, ID
Kirkus Reviews
The ever-popular pioneering female pilot gets a breezy and very incomplete biography. Meltzer gives Amelia a first-person voice and, in a very sketchy narrative laced with comic-book speech bubbles, presents her as a dare-devil tomboy. The flying bug hits her when she goes up for a flight with Frank Hawks at the age of 23. She tries her hand at different jobs to earn money for flying lessons; Meltzer, writing too glibly, calls stenography, one of those failed efforts, a "fancy-schmancy word." As Amelia makes her solo trans-Atlantic flight, she shouts, "This is AWESOME!"--a word no doubt intended to resonate with contemporary readers but unlikely to have occurred to Earhart at the moment. The text concludes with an exhortation to "Never let anyone stop you. / Whatever your dream is, chase it. / Work hard for it." There is nary a mention of her final, disastrous around-the-world flight and disappearance over the Pacific. Eliopoulos' digitally rendered art is cartoon in style, with Earhart resembling a bobblehead doll and wearing an aviator hat and goggles. The audience for this mixed-up comic/bio is not at all clear. Given its incomplete information and lack of source material (an actual quote from Earhart is unreferenced), there is no justifying calling it a biography. Nor is there enough entertainment to call this a comic book. Skip. (photographs) (Picture book. 3-6)

Who could not be touched by the story of Amelia Earhart? For some people of her own generation, the aviator who defied gender stereotypes might have seemed like an oddity or an entertaining stunt person. For girls and boys of today, her story resonates with a "can do" spirit that benefits us all. Brad Meltzer's laudable attempt to reveal heroes in a human context rescues them from the confines of official fame. Easy to recommend.

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Product Details

Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
Ordinary People Change the World Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
7.60(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years


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I am Amelia Earhart 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My granddaughter is definitely looking forward to learning more about Rosa Parks, and enjoyed learning about Amelia Earhart and Abe Lincoln in these new biographies for children. I was excited when she asked to know more about some people who affected history and thrilled to learn that one of my favorite adult authors had taken on the task to educate our young people a little more about people who have shaped our history.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My 4 year old loves the book! We own this one and the one about Lincoln. Looking forward to the next two releases - preordering now!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bought this book for my almost 4 year old son, and he LOVES it.  After having read it numerous times, he saw the others listed in the book and has now asked for them as well.  I purchased Abraham Lincoln version today.  He will be so surprised!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago