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Podcast Podcast

Episode 47 — Amazing Aviators


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Chatting About Books: Recommendations for Young Readers

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Grades K – 5
Podcast Series Chatting About Books: Recommendations for Young Readers
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Duration 13:21
Original Air Date Published August 15, 2012

Music in this podcast is provided by Freeplay Music.


Book Chat

Expert Chat


Book Chat

book coverAmelia Lost: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart
Author: Candace Fleming
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade, 2011



Fleming starts the book with the crew of the Itasca trying to get in touch with Amelia as they know that her plane should be nearing the next stop point, Howland Island. The author then moves to Amelia’s beginning years as a child. The two narratives move closer and closer together until they basically meet with Amelia’s biographical chapter giving the details about how Amelia got ready for her 27,000-mile trip around the world. The organization of this book is fantastic, and even though most will know what happened to Amelia Earhart, the way that Fleming moves back and forth between Amelia’s biography to her story about being lost will have readers on the edge of their seats and desperately hoping for a different ending.



book coverSky High: The True Story of Maggie Gee
Author: Marissa Moss
Illustrator: Carl Angel
Publisher: Tricycle Press, 2009


Marissa Moss introduces young readers to a relatively unknown historical figure: Maggie Gee. Maggie Gee dreamed of flying, just like her hero Amelia Earhart. Her family thought they were just that—dreams—but Maggie Gee was determined to turn them into reality. She got her chance during World War I. She read about a group of women called the WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots) who flew planes on "training missions and ferried bombers to military airbases." She and two of her friends bought a car for $25 and headed to flight school to try to be a part of this group. At the end of flight school, Maggie Gee was chosen to be trained as a WASP. Out of the 25,000 women who applied, only 1,830 were accepted and only 1,037 graduated. Maggie Gee was among a small group of women who were a part of this war effort. Marissa Moss weaves Maggie's life into a narrative that is perfect for young readers.



book coverThe Hallelujah Flight
Author: Phil Bildner
Illustrator: John Holyfield
Publisher: Putnam, 2010


James Banning had the dream of flying from sea to shining sea, but he faced two obstacles: he didn't have a working plane and he didn’t have money to fund the trip. He didn't let these obstacles hold him back though. He talked Thomas Allen (who also became his flying partner) into fixing an old clunker of a plane. To tackle the issue of money, Banning decided that each time they landed, he and Allen would let people sign the wings of the plane in exchange for food, shelter, and fuel. People thought Banning and Allen were crazy, but pretty soon they had their plane in working order and were off on their adventure. As they made stops throughout the country, they mostly faced people, who, like Banning supposed, were thrilled at the opportunity of signing the plane and were excited to help with provisions for their journey. A few times they were met with prejudiced and hostility. But again, Banning and Allen didn't let this stop them from going on. Each time Banning and Allen overcame a difficult point or reached their next stopping point, their refrain to each other was always the same: "Hallelujah!" “Hallelujah right back at you!" Based on a true story and told from the perspective of Thomas Allen, who was the mechanic and flying partner of James Banning, this story is sure to inspire and make you smile.



book coverCromwell Dixon's Sky-Cycle
Author: John Abbott Nez
Publisher: Putnam, 2009


Cromwell Dixon was one of those rare individuals who was born to invent things. From a young age he was tinkering, building, and imagining possibilities. After he took a hot-air balloon ride in 1904 at the St. Louis World's Fair, he decided to become an aeronaut and started dreaming up plans for a flying machine. He spent three years working on his Sky-Cycle, a flying machine that could be steered by pedaling. With the support of his mother, he succeeded in building his Sky-Cycle and managed to travel almost 2 miles in the air. He entered his Sky-Cycle in several races at the St. Louis Airship Carnival, where he competed with the most famous aeronauts of the day. The author brings a little-known aviator to light in this charming narrative and provides a peek at a couple of actual photographs of this fascinating, quirky Cromwell Dixon.



book coverSuper Simple Paper Airplanes
Author: Nick Robinson
Publisher: Sterling, 2009




This book is a paper-airplane lover's dream come true. With clear instructions and photographs of finished planes, kids will have fun trying out a variety of paper airplanes. The Introduction and the first three chapters give the history and science of paper airplanes. Younger kids may find the information dense, but older kids interested in the mechanics and physics of paper airplanes will find the information interesting. The best part, no doubt, is finally getting to the pages and pages of different paper airplanes. The author has divided this section into three chapters: classic design, modern design, and airborne origami. There is something to please everyone, from the novice to the expert paper folder. No experience required!



Expert Chat

Listen in as Emily and Candace Fleming chat about Amelia Lost. Fleming discusses what inspired her to write this book and how she diligently researched to discover the "real" Amelia Earhart, and she shares lingering questions she still has about this savvy businesswoman and aviator.