cover image Amelia Earhart: This Broad Ocean

Amelia Earhart: This Broad Ocean

Sarah Stewart Taylor, . . Disney-Hyperion, $17.99 (96pp) ISBN 978-1-4231-1337-9

Rather than rushing past the highlights of Earhart's career, this quietly moving book approaches her life through the admiring curiosity of a girl who also aspires to escape traditional boundaries. Young Grace has grown up in Trepassey, Newfoundland, the nearest point in North America from which a plane can take off to fly to Europe; it's also a seacoast community familiar with shipwrecks and other evidence of how coldly indifferent nature can be. In June of 1928, tweener Grace, the dubious townspeople and a mob of impatient newsmen wait for Earhart to finally get her plane in the air for a transatlantic flight. Grace yearns to leave the little village and to become a newspaper woman , so she observes the commotion and manages to get the aviator's personal encouragement in an interview before her successful departure. Taylor's lean script leaves much of Grace's feelings understated but easy to imagine. Towle's art is also emotionally restrained, but panels showing the bleak landscape—especially double-page spreads of what Earhart called “this broad ocean”—emphasize the courage of people willing to take ultimate risks. Astronaut Eileen Collins's introduction, which describes the inspiration she drew from Earhart's example, carries the theme to the present. Ages 10–up. (Feb.)