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Amelia and Eleanor Go for a Ride

Amelia and Eleanor Go for a Ride

4.6 3
by Pam Munoz Ryan, Brian Selznick (Illustrator)

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Amelia Earhart and Eleanor Roosevelt were birds of a feather. Not only were they two of the most admired and respected women of all time, they were also good friends. Illuminated here for the first time in picture book form is the true story of a thrilling night when they made history together!

On a brisk and cloudless evening in April 1933, Amelia


Amelia Earhart and Eleanor Roosevelt were birds of a feather. Not only were they two of the most admired and respected women of all time, they were also good friends. Illuminated here for the first time in picture book form is the true story of a thrilling night when they made history together!

On a brisk and cloudless evening in April 1933, Amelia and Eleanor did the unprecedented: They stole away from a White House dinner, commandeered an Eastern Air Transport jet, and took off on a glorious adventure--while still dressed in their glamorous evening gowns!

This picture book tour de force celebrates the pioneering spirit of two friends whose passion for life gave them the courage to defy convention in the name of fulfillment, conviction, and fun. Soaring text, inspired by the known facts of this event, and breathtaking drawings ask readers to dream dreams as big as Amelia and Eleanor's.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Distinctions and Praise for Amelia and Eleanor Go for a Ride: (partial listing)

Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Los Angeles Times Book of the Year 2000
ALA Notable
ILA Notable Children's Books for a Global Society
ABA Book Sense Book of the Year Finalist
CBC/NCSS Notable Children's Book in the Field of Social Studies
Bank Street College Best Children's Books of the Year
Parenting Magazine 1999 "Reading Magic" Award Winner
Pen USA West Literary Award in Children's Literature 2000

"A compelling slice from the lives of two determined, outspoken and passionate women." -- Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
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.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature - Jan Lieberman
Climb aboard for a delightful spin with two unconventional ladies in Amelia and Eleanor Go for a Ride, which is based on a true story. The First Lady was enamored with flying; she had taken some lessons. When her friend Amelia Earhart was in DC on a tour, Eleanor invited her and her husband for dinner at the White House. Before dessert was served, Amelia suggested a plane ride to see the Capitol at night. The Secret Service agents were aghast, but the two determined women could not be stopped. What a ride it was! The pencil drawings are bursting with life in this energetic charming anecdote of two famous ladies.
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4 Ryan imaginatively expands on a true historical event in this intriguing picture book. While dining at the White House in 1933, Amelia Earhart convinces Eleanor Roosevelt to join her on a night flight to Baltimore. The two women marvel at the sights and the excitement from the air. After landing, they sneak away for one more adventure, as this time, the First Lady treats her friend to a fast ride in her new car. The fictionalized tale is lively and compelling, and the courage and sense of adventure that these individuals shared will be evident even to children who know nothing about their lives. Without belaboring the message, the author clearly conveys how the "feeling of independence" that both women treasured was a crucial part of their personalities. Selznick's larger-than-life pencil drawings add considerably to the spirit of the tale. He captures the glorious beauty of the night flight and the beauty of the city below. Varied perspectives and background details consistently draw readers' eyes. An author's note clearly defines which elements of the story are factual. The women were actually accompanied by two male pilots, but the author decided that it made it "much more exciting" to imagine that they were alone. "Almost all" of the dialogue comes from historical accounts. The title stands well on its own, but will also work as an excellent inspiration for further reading about the lives of Eleanor Roosevelt and Amelia Earhart. Steven Engelfried, Deschutes County Library, Bend, OR Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Ryan and Selznick skillfully blend fact and fiction for a rip-roaring tale of an utterly credible adventure. On April 20, 1933, Amelia Earhart had dinner at the White House with her friend, Eleanor Roosevelt. Amelia's description of flying at night so entranced Eleanor that the two of them, still in their evening clothes, flew in a Curtis Condor twin-motor airplane and were back in time for dessert. Eleanor herself had studied for a pilot's license, but had to be content driving instead. Selznick has created marvelous graphite pictures, with slight washes of color, for scenes based on accounts and descriptions of the evening, right down to the china on the White House table. Using a slightly exaggerated style and a superb sense of line and pattern, he plays with varying perspectives, close-ups, and panoramas to create a vivid visual energy that nicely complements the text. There is sheer delight in the friends' shared enjoyment of everything from a formal dinner and fine gloves to the skies they navigated. A final historical photograph shows the two on the plane that night. (Picture book. 5-10)

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
12.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.42(d)
AD600L (what's this?)
Age Range:
7 - 10 Years

Meet the Author

Pam Muñoz Ryan is the recipient of the NEA's Human and Civil Rights Award and the Virginia Hamilton Literary Award for multicultural literature. She has written more than thirty books which have garnered, among countless accolades, the Pura Belpre Medal, the Jane Addams Award, and the Schneider Family Award. Pam lives near San Diego. You can visit her at www.pammunozryan.com.

In addition to The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Brian Selznick is the illustrator of the Caldecott Honor winner, The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins, and The New York Times Best Illustrated Walt Whitman: Words for America, both by Barbara Kerley, as well as the Sibert Honor Winner When Marian Sang, by Pam Muñoz Ryan, and numerous other celebrated picture books and novels. Brian has also worked as a set designer and a puppeteer. When he isn’t traveling to promote his work all over the world, he lives in San Diego, California, and Brooklyn, New York.

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Amelia and Eleanor Go for a Ride 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Well written and researched
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The pencil-rendered art in this book is extraordinary! The story of Amelia Earhart and Eleanor Roosevelt is also included in the recently released movie, "Amelia".
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is very well written and beautifully illustrated. For young girls (and boys for that matter) it provides a glimpse of two women of great achievement in a different era. The charm of the black-and-white sketches alone makes this book worthwhile. After repeatedly borrowing this book from the library, I decided it was time to buy my young daughter a copy of her own!