Amelia Earhart: This Broad Ocean

This post is part of Nonfiction Monday
hosted today by Chapter Book of the Day

Disney Hyperion (pub. 2.2.2010)
96 pages 

A True Tale with A Cherry On Top
              and Illustrator/cartoonist:  BEN TOWLE

C haracter: Amelia Earhart, pilot and aviation pioneer

O verview from book flap:
     "Amelia Earhart developed a love of flying at a very young age  What began as a simple joy became something much deeper - a commitment to open doors for all women... In Amelia Earhart: This Broad Ocean, Taylor and Towle focus on Amelia's triumphant crossing of the Atlantic Ocean in 1928, offering us a glimpse of her relentless ambition and her tireless will to promote women's rights..."

T antalizing taste:
December 1920  Daugherty Field Long Beach, California
     "Dad, I'd... I'd like to go up.  What do you think?"
     "Are you sure? It's dangerous, Amelia.  These planes are always crashing, you know."
     "Just to try it.  Please, Dad."
     "All right.  I'll see how much it costs.  Ahoy! You there!... My daughter would like to go for a ride.  How much?
     "Your daughter?
     "My daughter.
     "You sure, mister?"
     "Ten dollars for ten minutes.
     "Be here tomorrow at nine.

The next morning [illustrations of Amelia going up in airplane with pilot.]
     [Man on the ground to Amelia's father] "Girl's got moxie.  Ya don't mind me sayin.'
     [Amelia's father]: "That's my Amelia."

and something more:  I diverged from reviewing picture book biographies to include this graphic novel to fit within the scope of today's Nonfiction Monday host, Chapter Book of the Day.  And, I was intrigued to read it because it's one of several cartoon biographies presented by The Center for Cartoon StudiesAmelia Earhart: This Broad Ocean celebrates Women's History Month.  The introduction to the graphic novel is written by Eileen Collins, a former NASA astronaut and the first female pilot of a Space Shuttle in 1991 (and later the first woman commander in 1999). Eileen Collins describes the impact Amelia Earhart had on her career, and quotes her: "'The most difficult thing is the decision to act; the rest is merely tenacity ... You can do anything you decide to do.  You can act to change and control your life." 
     Eileen Collins recounts that she was given one of Amelia Earhart's scarves by Carol Osborne, an aviation historian.  NASA arranged to have the scarf "carefully folded and vacuum-packed in clear plastic along with the other special items my crew members had arranged to have on board. I took a great deal of comfort and pride knowing that one of Amelia Earhart's possessions was part of my first space mission.  Shortly after I returned to Earth, I made sure to get the scarf, along with a whole lot of gratitude, back to Carol Osborne.  It is now among Amelia's treasured goods."
     And just as Amelia Earhart was a role model for Eileen Collins, Eileen Collins is now returning the favor by being a role model for today's girls with a dream. 

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