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Amelia Earhart: An inspiration to young children

Who could not find themselves captivated by the inspirational story of Amelia Earhart? Ever since Amelia’s plane disappeared on July 2, 1937, people have wanted to learn about the famous female aviation pioneer who broke many early aviation records. To this day, legend and mystery still surround the final flight and disappearance of Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan. In honor of Amelia Earhart Day, celebrated on July 24, come to the library with your children to check out some wonderful books on this historical icon.
A friendly picture book biography presented in a fun way for young children is “I am Amelia Earhart” by Brad Meltzer. Amelia is pictured as a child, even at the height of her adult accomplishments and fame. The humorous nature and brief, readable text will appeal to young children. Young readers will be inspired to strive and dream big as this book resonates a can-do spirit.
“Flying Ace: The Story of Amelia Earhart,” by Angela Bull, is a beginner reader book. The age-appropriate text will capture a child’s attention while helping them develop reading skills and general knowledge. The book begins with a fictionalized account of Amelia’s childhood interest in flying, but the rest of it is straight narrative, examining her life and mysterious disappearance. The illustrations include many photos and maps with captions that expand the main text and give a glimpse at the historical period.
One of the many books in the “Picture Book Biography” series written by David A. Adler for beginning readers is “A Picture Book of Amelia Earhart.” Adler highlights Amelia’s life and focuses on her dedication to be the first woman pilot to cross the Atlantic alone. Realistic, double-page watercolor illustrations provide an accurate setting for the time period and complement the text. A brief author’s note cites theories about Amelia’s disappearance as well as the lack of evidence to support them.
“Amelia Earhart: The Legend of the Lost Aviator,” by Shelley Tanaka, provides a great introduction into the life of the famous pilot. It is shaped like a picture book but includes a lot of text. The in-depth writing is great for obtaining detailed information on Amelia’s flying from her first sight of an airplane at the age of 10 to the last radio transmission she made before she vanished. The narrative discusses how fragile the airplanes of the 1930s were, how difficult the navigation, and how unreliable the instruments were during her time. The book only spends a little time discussing other aspects of her life. This book is illustrated with attractive artwork, historical photographs and quotes that enliven and enrich the page layout.
“Amelia Lost: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart,” by Candice Fleming, moves readers back and forth between Amelia’s life (from childhood up until her last flight) and the extensive search for her and her missing plane. Detailed photos, maps and handwritten notes from Amelia herself are tailor-made for middle-graders. Readers learn about Amelia’s free-spirited early childhood, first inclinations toward flying and her other pursuits. An overview of the era’s social and political climate as it pertained to women helps readers grasp the significance of Amelia’s accomplishments. This honest depiction of Amelia’s professional and personal life forms a complete portrait of a complex woman.
Amelia remains an inspiration for young people as well as a symbol of independence and courage. Share these great tiles with your children to aspire them to grow up and live out their dreams.
Summer movie series — The library offers movie night every Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at RPL headquarters in Salisbury and at South Rowan Regional at 2 p.m. Wednesdays. Movies are free and all ages are welcome. Children should be accompanied by an adult. Free popcorn and lemonade.
At headquarters: this Tuesday, “Timeline” (PG13); July 29, “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” (PG).
At South Regional (China Grove): this Wednesday, “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” (PG); July 30, “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow” (PG).
Summer reading for children — The library invites children to celebrate science and reading with Fizz, Boom, Read. Reading hours may be tracked now. Prizes for every 5, 10, 15 and 20 hours read with door prizes given at the school-aged programs.
Weekly programs run until July 31. RPL staff will be on hand to entertain the youngest participants and professional performers will help captivate the school-age children. Family programs will again be offered at Cleveland Town Hall and reading hours can be tracked there at the time of the program.
This week’s program is Grey Seal Puppets, Bathtub Pirates. For a complete schedule of programs, go to the library website, www.rowanpubliclibrary.org or call your closest location: Headquarters, 704-216-8234; South, 704-216-7728; East, 704-216-7842.
Teen summer reading: Teens may participate in Spark a Reaction where they will explore science through programs and reading. Through July 31, all rising sixth-graders to 12th-graders are invited to participate. Programs will be held 3:30-5 p.m. on Tuesdays, Headquarters; Wednesdays, East Branch, Rockwell; Thursdays, South Rowan Regional, China Grove. This week’s program is Cold as Ice: Art fun and experiments with blocks of ice. Every teen who registers receives a booklet for keeping track of the library dollars they earn. Those dollars will be used to enter raffles for prizes provided by the Friends of RPL and other local sponsors. Winners will be announced at the end of the summer Blow Out Blast at South Rowan Regional on July 31, 3:30–5 p.m.
Approaching Star Trek: Headquarters: July 21, 6:30 p.m.; South Regional, July 22, 6:30 p.m. What are we learning about life here on Earth? What are we learning about our universe? Is life “out there” really possible? This workshop will be led by Jack Howard, a physics and astronomy instructor at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. His first work in astronomy was variable star research at Kitt Peak National Observatory, and he has a master’s degree in astronomy from James Cook University. For more details visit www.rowanpublilibrary.org and click on the Events for Adults tab.
Book Bites Club: South Regional (only), July 29, 6:30 p.m., “The Help,” by Kathryn Stockett. Book discussion groups for adults and children meet the last Tuesday of each month. The group is open to the public and anyone is free to join at any time. There is a discussion of the book, as well as light refreshments at each meeting. For more information, please call 704-216-8229.
Displays for July: headquarters, doll society; South, Rowan Doll Society by Gayle Hansen; East, flowers by Helen Holland.
Literacy: Call the Rowan County Literacy Council at 704-216-8266 for more information on teaching or receiving literacy tutoring for English speakers or for those for whom English is a second language.

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