Tags: United States
, Juvenile Nonfiction
, Biography & Autobiography
, Juvenile literature
, Adventurers & Explorers
, Air Pilots
, Science & Nature
, Aeronautics; Astronautics & Space Science
, Earhart; Amelia - Juvenile Literature
, Women - Biography
, Air Pilots - United States - Biography - Juvenile Literature
, Earhart; Amelia
âItâs Just Like Flying!â
The two children stood on the roof of the toolshed and looked down at the slanting track. It stretched eight feet down to the ground. For days they had hammered. At last it was ready. With some help from their uncle, seven-year-old Millie (Amelia) and her five-year-old sister Pidge (Muriel) had built their very own ârollyâ coaster.
Millie climbed into the packing crate. She folded her knees into her chest. âLet me go!â she yelled.
The box shot down the wobbly track. Within seconds, the ride was over. The girl and the crate crashed at the bottom.
Millie jumped up. She ignored her torn dress and her hurt lip. She was too excited. âOh, Pidge,â she said. âItâs just like flying!â
Their parents made them tear down the roller coaster. After all, it was dangerous. But maybe Millie remembered the fun of her short âflight.â When she grew up, Amelia Earhart became one of the most famous airplane pilots in the world.
Of course, on July 24, 1897, the night Amelia was born, her family wasnât thinking about airplanes or pilots. In 1897, people didnât fly. There werenât any airplanes. And even if there were, everyone knew that a woman couldnât fly one. That would have been a manâs job. In those days, a woman wasnât supposed to have a career. Her place was in the home.
Amelia Mary Earhart was born in Atchison, Kansas, at the home of her grandparents, Judge Alfred Otis and his wife, Amelia. The little girl was named after both of her grandmothers. She was nicknamed Millie by her family.
Ameliaâs mother, Amy Otis Earhart, wrote later that Amelia was âa real watercolor baby with the bluest of blue eyes, rosy cheeks, and red lips.â
Soon, Amy Earhart and baby Amelia returned to their own home in Kansas City, Kansas. Ameliaâs father, Edwin Stanton Earhart, worked there as a lawyer for the railroad.
Two years later, in 1899, Ameliaâs sister, Grace Muriel Earhart, was born. Amelia loved books, animals, and the outdoors. She could read by the time she was four. She kept a book called Insect Life, to identify the insects she found. Ameliaâs favorite books were Peter Rabbit, Black Beauty, and all kinds of adventure stories. Almost always, the heroes in those adventures were boys. The girl characters never did anything exciting. Amelia didnât think this was fair.
Back then, most parents thought girls should play, dress, and act differently from boys. But Ameliaâs parents werenât like that. Amelia loved the outdoors, so Mr. Earhart taught her to fish and play ball. And sometimes, just like a boy, Amelia jumped over fences.
Itâs not easy to jump fences in lacy petticoats and stockings. Mrs. Earhart had bloomers made for her daughters. The bloomers were made out of dark blue flannel, with long sleeves, high collars, and divided skirts that reached to the knees. The two girls still had to wear dark stockings and high-top shoes.
Even though some people said that bloomers werenât proper for little girls, Amelia wore them. They were perfect for walking on stilts, catching toads, and jumping fences.
Amelia didnât like to play with dolls too often. But it was fun to set them in the doll carriage and tie the carriage to her big black dog, James Ferocious. Muriel shook a bone, and James Ferocious took off running. Amelia hollered and chased from behind.
Once when James Ferocious was tied to a rope in the backyard, some boys teased him. James Ferocious barked and jumped until the rope broke. The boys scrambled onto the toolshed.
The barking awoke 6-year-old Amelia from her nap. She ran outside to her dog. âJames Ferocious, you naughty dog,â she said, âyouâve tipped over your water dish again.â She patted her dog and led him inside.
Mrs. Earhart praised Amelia for her bravery, but explained that she could have been hurt. âI wasnât
Alexis Ragougneau, Katherine Gregor