Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

You can't do that, Amelia

You can't do that, Amelia

Kimberly Wagner Klier
Illustrator:  Kathleen Kernly 
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 7 to 9
Calkins Creek Books, 2008   ISBN: 978-1590784679

For her entire life people told Amelia that she couldn't do this or that. She was told that what she wanted to do was dangerous, or it was unladylike, or it just wasn't possible. What no one counted on was Amelia's iron will and determination. When she set her heart on something she went after it.

When she was still very young Amelia decided that she wanted to build a roller coaster that would run from the top of her shed to the ground below. Her cousins told her that she could not build such a thing and shook their heads over her outlandish dreams. Amelia paid no attention to their words and she proceeded to build her roller coaster. There were a few crashes, but in the end Amelia created a mini roller coaster that actually worked.

When she grew up to be a young woman Amelia fell in love with the idea of becoming a pilot. Once again people told her that her dream was a hopeless one. Amelia promptly went out and found a way to get flying lessons. She loved flying so much that, in 1929, she decided to participate in the first Women's Air Derby. It would be just the first of many new things that she would try.

This book serves as a wonderful introduction to the life and accomplishments of Amelia Earhart. The author perfectly captures Amelia's determined personality, a personality that would not allow her to give up on something that she cared about. The story is well crafted, interesting, and – for those of us who are dreamers too – it is inspiring as well.