5th Grade and Up
It’s 1967 and 12-year-old Bea’s world has been shaken up. Her mother is off in San Francisco and her father has remarried, adding a stepmom and younger stepsister to the mix. So, when her grandmother, Pidge, moves to a new retirement community, Bea agrees to visit.
But it turns out, her grandmother isn’t interested in settling in. What she really wants is to hop a train back to Atchison, Kansas, where she believes she’ll be reunited with her long-missing sister, the legendary Amelia Earhart. And she wants Bea to be her sidekick on this secret trip.
At first, Bea thinks her grandmother’s plan is a little crazy. But Pidge has thirty years of letters written in “Meelie’s” unmistakable voice, all promising to reunite. This might be the adventure Bea needs…
With letters in hand, Bea and Pidge set off on their quest to find Amelia. But getting halfway across the country proves to be more of an adventure than either of them bargained for. And their search for Amelia leads to some surprising truths about their family—and each other.
I love the idea of a story about a descendant of a person who made history, especially someone like Amelia Earhart. She’s a prettybig deal, not just because she’sthe first female pilot to fly across the Atlantic Ocean, it’s because of her mysterious disappearance.It’s one the greatest mysteries of all time because no one will ever discover what exactly happened to herbut there are many theories. Some say Amelia was secretly a US spy or she was castaway on an island. Someone did find a skeleton many years ago that was thought to be Amelia’s, but they lost it (seriously, how do you loses a skeleton?). I like to believe that she was abducted by aliens and she’s still out there flying a high-tech space craft through the universe.
The road trip that Bea and Pidge go on is pretty crazy. It’s not Road Trip by Gary and Jim Paulsen crazy but more ‘California to Kansas cross-country trip to find a woman whose been missing for 40 years’ crazy. Remember, this story is taking place in 1967. Bea and Pidge can’t call up Uber on their iPhones or book airplane tickets on the Internet. They’re using payphones and buying tickets for trains and long bus rides.
I had a theory about the letters and after finishing the story I’m still not sure if my theory was correct.
I checked on Google and Amelia Earhart really did have a younger sister, Muriel, whose childhood nickname was Pidge. I also read the Author’s Note at the end of this book which confirms the fact.
As a bonus, here’s a picture of Amelia Earhart along with one of her famous quotes:
This weeks’ Weird but True Fact about Amelia Earhart
Amelia Earhart – who made the first female solo flight across the Atlantic in May 1932 – had imaginary friends named Laura and Ringa.