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Sky Dreamer

Modern young people may be comforted to know that their peers 100 years ago also tackled the doubts and uncertainty associated with coming of age. One such teenager, Arne Schmitt is a boy growing up early in the 20th century in Billings, Montana, a booming city on the edge of the Great Plains. He could follow in the footsteps of his German immigrant father and take over the family bakery, but he glances skyward and knows he wants the adventure of flying. He wants to become a pilot when aviation is young, airplanes are flimsy, and the dangers of crashing are all too real.

Cover for Sky Dream
“Sky Dreamer” will be available in February 2022 as a paperback and e-book.

His drive, his dream of soaring through the Treasure State’s big sky helps him surmount challenges, including the anti-German bigotry that’s rampant in his hometown during World War I. When peace comes and prejudice fades, he buys a plane, a war surplus Curtiss Jenny available at a bargain price, and learns to fly.

More trials, however, lie ahead. First, his Jenny crashes and burns. Then, he must convince the father of his steady girlfriend that he can become a steady provider. Yet, it’s Prohibition time, and Arne succumbs to the temptation of becoming an airborne rum runner. How will he fit into proper Billings society, win the hand of his girl in marriage, and still keep the excitement of flying stirring his heart? “Sky Dreamer” tells Arne’s story in a timeless way that resonates with 21st century adolescents.

Coming soon: an email newsletter that will keep you in the loop about the book and the times in which Arne grew up. Subscribe (free) here: newsletter

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Jamie Larson