Book Review: America, Can I Have Your Autograph? The Story of Junior Ranger Aida Frey
If you love America’s National Parks, then you will adore my friend, Junior Ranger Aida Frey. Aida is the most decorated Junior Ranger of the National Park Service.
At 15 years old, she has now visited over 235 parks, is known as the Sweetheart of the National Parks, and is sharing her story in her book entitled, America, Can I Have Your Autograph? The Story of Junior Ranger Aida Frey.
In case you missed it, we absolutely love the Junior Ranger Program, and it was Aida that got us interested in earning our badges.
Though the program was created to help kids get interested and involved in the parks, it is truly for all ages. I’m no Aida, but I’m pretty proud of the 15 badges that I’ve earned so far!
Aida is from the Chicago area of Illinois and began earning badges at the age of nine after an amazing trip to Effigy Mounds National Park.
Did you know what your passion was at the age of nine? Probably not, but Aida realized very quickly that she wants to be a park ranger and advocate for our National Parks.
Even with attending events and speaking engagements, Aida decided to reach a much larger audience by recording her thoughts, lessons, and travel stories in a book entitled America, Can I Have Your Autograph?
I actually met Aida and her wonderful parents on the first stop of her book tour in Tupelo, Mississippi. Aida had fallen in love with our hometown while on her tour of America, so Tupelo is featured in her chapters and she wanted to start her book tour right here as well. Pretty cool, right?
See Related: Taking the Elvis Tour of Tupelo, Mississippi
After spending the day with the Freys, I knew we would be lifelong friends, and I couldn’t wait to read Aida’s book after talking with her and witnessing her interactions with children, many of whom were fellow Junior Rangers.
Seeing Aida’s accomplishments and enthusiasm is definitely inspiring. Not that we needed any more encouragement to travel, but there are so many people that would benefit from seeing what all our country has to offer.
Instilling a love of travel and a passion for taking care of nature is especially important in children. Aida is definitely a fantastic role model for other kids and young adults.
When we travel, we are excited to have new experiences, meet new people, and learn new things. This is echoed in the pages of Aida’s book, and I’m sure that’s why we got along so well right from the very beginning!
Through letter-style chapters, Aida writes to us, the readers, as her friends. She tells us her favorite memories of her family’s road trips, the special moments praising her accomplishments, and we get to visit her most-loved parks and iconic sites.
She also invites the special people she met along the way to share their stories, so we get a glimpse into the lives of amazing people including park rangers, elected officials, and even Elvis Presley’s childhood friend!
See Related: Stamp Dedication at Elvis’ Birthplace
Aida’s book is a reminder that we never know where our most amazing experiences will come from. We never know who we will meet on our adventures.
In travel, it is just as much the people and one-of-a-kind unexpected experiences that make our trips memorable. Not just the destination.
From movie locations like the “Field of Dreams” and “A Christmas Story” House to iconic National Parks like Kentucky’s Mammoth Cave and Yellowstone, Aida shares her favorite destinations. You’re sure to find a new location to add to your bucket list!
See Related: Exploring Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky
If you’re looking for some inspiration, read America, Can I Have Your Autograph? and plan your next road trip.
If you’re looking for a challenge, see if you can visit as many parks as Aida and her family (and earn your Junior Ranger badges along the way!).
If you’re looking for life lessons, Aida teaches others to be kind, always be open to making new friends, and to cherish the world we live in.
Title: America, Can I Have Your Autograph? The Story of Junior Ranger Aida Frey
Author: Aida Frey and Dana Dorfman
Publisher: April 13th 2012 by Lulu Publishing Services
ISBN: 1483448967 (ISBN13: 9781483448961)
*Aida and her parents provided me with a reading copy of this book, but all opinions are my own.
Are you a Junior Ranger? How many of America’s National Parks have you visited? Which is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!
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Jennifer is the founder of Just Chasing Rabbits travel blog. She lives in Mississippi with husband/travel companion, Mark, and three fur babies. After obtaining a BA degree in studio art and working in the field of photography for years, Jenni has combined her love of travel and photography to form this blog. Mark and Jenni share their experiences in hopes of inspiring others to have wonderful adventures and see the world.
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