Amelia and Eleanor Go for a Ride

Pam Munoz Ryan, Author, Brian Selznick, Illustrator Scholastic $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-590-96075-5
In this sparkling picture book based on a true incident, Ryan (Riding Freedom, with Selznick) proves that Amelia Earhart and Eleanor Roosevelt truly were ""birds of a feather."" Friends in real life, America's First Lady invited the ""First Lady of the Air"" to dinner at the White House in 1933. Eleanor, inspired by Amelia's descriptions of Washington viewed from her plane at night, accepts the pilot's offer of an after-dinner flight over the capital. Before dessert can be served, and over the protests of the Secret Service agents, the two are off to the airport and up in the sky, thrilling to the brilliance of the city below. Hewing closely to documented accounts, Ryan's inviting text adds drama and draws parallels between the two protagonists with fictional touches: she places them alone together in the plane (an author's note explains that in fact they were accompanied by two male pilots) and adds a final scene in which Eleanor takes Amelia for a zippy ride around the city in her brand-new car. Selznick's illustrations, black-and-white graphite accented with touches of purple pencil, both capture the vibrancy of his subjects and evoke the feel of a more glamorous era. A brief but compelling slice from the lives of two determined, outspoken and passionate women. Ages 5-9. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/04/1999
Release date: 10/01/1999
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