Excerpts for Sky High : The True Story of Maggie Gee


WHEN I WAS LITTLE, something special happened every Sunday. Other families went to baseball games or the movies, but not mine. Instead we would drive out to the airport. We weren't going on a trip or meeting someone from a flight. We went to watch the airplanes. For us, nothing could be as exciting as watching the planes take off. We loved how they bumped clumsily along the runway, only to suddenly leap up, break free from the ground, and soar away, far away, until the black speck of the plane disappeared. My brothers, sisters, and I would lick our only-on-Sunday lollipops and tip our heads back, letting the roar of the engines fill our ears. I loved how the vibrations echoed in my bones. Just being there, being part of it all, made me feel big and powerful.

I liked to search for my favorite pilot, Amelia Earhart. She had flown all the way across the ocean by herself, and I wanted to be just like her. Once I'm sure I saw her. When I waved, she saw me and waved back. It had to be her--I didn't know of any other women pilots back then. Just Amelia Earhart. And me. Well, I would be a pilot someday.

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