Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Books Loaded with Enchanting Characters for Summer Reading

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Books Loaded with Enchanting Characters for Summer Reading

Article excerpt

As a kid I loved summer nights. Bedtime was delayed past the usual 8 p.m. school-year deadline, there were fireflies to catch in Mason jars, the immense canvas of the night sky to watch, sparklers on the Fourth of July, and maybe even some homemade ice cream with sweet strawberries to devour. And then there were the books. Piles and piles of books that I checked out from the Rushville, Ind., Public Library to read at bedtime. It was glorious. Kid heaven. Well, at least for this kid! And so once again summer is knocking on the proverbial seasonal door and your EVPL is gearing up for another super-Dduper summer reading program. This year's theme for the kids will be "Dream Big... Read."

Here are some great reads that families might want to share about characters - real and fictional - who liked to dream big and had wonderful nighttime adventures.

Two women who commanded worldwide respect and admiration embarked on a nighttime adventure almost 80 years ago that few contemporaries knew or read about at the time. On the evening of April 20, 1933, Aviatrix Amelia Earhart and her husband G.P. Putnam were dinner guests of President and Mrs. Roosevelt at the White House. Somewhere after the first course Amelia described the thrill of nighttime flying. Eleanor was enchanted and so, later that evening the two women with Eastern Air Transport pilots at the helm, took a nighttime flight over Washington, D.C. Eleanor actually sat in the cockpit for a time during the flight. This "f lying" fascinated her so much that she even applied for and received a student pilot's license, which she sent to Amelia since Amelia fully intended to be her teacher and coach.

For the whole story and a great photo from the historic event, check out Pam Muoz Ryan's picture book, "Amelia and Eleanor Go for a Ride" with Art Deco graphite and colored pencil drawings by future Caldecott Medalist Brian Selznick.

One hundred fifty eight years before Amelia and Eleanor's historic ride (almost to the exact date), another exciting nighttime ride took place. Readers in my age bracket may remember having to memorize (at least part of) a famous poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow that began, "Listen, my children, and you shall hear. …

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