October 12, 2012

Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart: The Legend of the Lost Aviator
by Shelley Tanaka
illustrated by David Craig

The key flights undertaken by pilot Amelia Earhart are summarized in this biography. It showcases Earhart's intelligence and ingenuity aboard the Friendship (as a passenger), her first solo across the Atlantic, and the fateful last flight. 

A good introduction to the daring aviator.

Amelia Lost: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart
by Candace Fleming

A more complete picture of Earhart emerges in this well-written book. While Tanaka's book was very positive, Fleming's book mentions some of the negatives, such as Earhart's father's drinking problem, her parents' separation, and Earhart's own faults and foibles. Fleming also writes about the people who helped Earhart along the way, especially her husband George, who was the mastermind behind her celebrity and the organizer of her round-the-world trip. 

What makes Fleming's book a real winner are the chapters about the search for Amelia. With testimony by radio operators and American citizens, they are gripping and suspenseful, giving the readers a good idea of the anxiousness of a nation. Maps, photos, and informative sidebars provide information about flight, people, and incidents, helping to separate myth from fact. So compelling is the book that it begs to be read in one sitting. 

Highly recommended.

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