Amelia Lost: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart

Candace Fleming, Random/Schwartz & Wade, $18.99 (128p) ISBN 978-0-375-84198-9
In a stirring account of an American icon, Fleming (The Great and Only Barnum) seeks to portray the Amelia behind the mythology—some of which, she explains, was perpetuated by Earhart herself. Chapters alternate between the tense search for the pilot's missing plane and a chronological progression through her life, complemented by b&w photographs and other materials smoothly incorporated into the book's crisp Art Deco–inspired design. Readers learn about Earhart's free-spirited early childhood, first inclinations toward flying, and other pursuits, which included medicine, writing, and fashion. An overview of the era's social and political climate, particularly as it pertained to women, should help readers grasp the significance of Earhart's accomplishments. Some anecdotes evidence a cutthroat nature (after Earhart and her husband have a fellow aviator's lecture tour canceled, the aviator recalls, "my friendship for Amelia quickly waned"). This honest depiction of Earhart's professional and personal life forms a complete portrait of a complex woman, making her final doomed flight (and a reproduction of a teenager's notebook transcription of what may have been Earhart's last radio transmission) all the more affecting. Ages 8–12. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/17/2011
Release date: 02/01/2011
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