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I have always been a fan of both Amelia Earhart and Eleanor Roosevelt but I learned so much more about both of them while making my collage of Amelia and Eleanor Go For A Ride by Pam Munoz Ryan, pictures by Brian Selznick. I also absolutely love both of these authors and have followed Brian’s unique style of illustration as well. What resonated for me as I worked on this collage was that Ryan and Selznick conveyed the friendship, admiration and love that Earhart and Roosevelt had for each other. Ryan created the dialogue in the story almost exclusively from newspaper accounts, book transcripts and diaries. Selznick researched the illustrations for six months and lived in Washington, D.C. If you have time and want to learn more about his process check out his visit with students from Capitol Hill Day School on C-Span.
As a library media specialist, I always pulled this book as a resource for biography units
and/or women’s history month even though it is categorized as “fiction” or "juvenile picture book." The story is actually based on several factual events; Earhart speaking in
Washington D.C. and sleeping at the Whitehouse and a night flight that Earhart
and Roosevelt took together (in picture). Mrs. Roosevelt also had the
distinction of logging more passenger miles than any other woman in the 1920s
|More information from the Smithsonian here.|
In my collage you will notice that I included a reporter’s notebook entry that reads, “Amelia and Eleanor were birds of a feather...” Both women challenged stereotypes but it was more than that. Amelia Earhart was a famous aviator and the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic. She was outspoken against war and an advocate for women’s rights. Together these women were “birds of a feather.” Eleanor, originally a very shy, introvert, she thought driving was practical, loved to fly and cared about dignity for every human. Watch this interview with Frank Sinatra and where he asks the first lady if she had only one word to share with the world what would it be.
There’s only one collage and it’s for sale, but everyone can read the book! I hope you enjoy the book and the collage as much as I did.