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YOU CAN’T DO THAT, AMELIA! by Kimberly Wagner Klier


by Kimberly Wagner Klier & illustrated by Kathleen Kemly

Age Range: 5 - 9

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-59078-467-9
Publisher: Calkins Creek/Boyds Mills

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. When she was older, she ignored her dubious family, took flying lessons and eventually bought her own plane. She began to enter races and set her own goals, and then it was the press and other aviators who said, “You can’t do that, Amelia!” Not without trial and error, Amelia proved herself time and time again. In keeping with the title, the story ends in 1932 with an emergency landing in Ireland after a transatlantic flight (and the dubious textual claim that this was “the grandest of her dreams”), rather than in 1937 with Earhart’s famous disappearance into the annals of history. Kemly’s soft illustrations suit this heavily fictionalized portrait of a stalwart heroine, which, despite its flaws, will likely inspire young readers and lead to further investigation. (biographical information, timeline, bibliography, resources, author’s note) (Picture book. 5-9)