From the Publisher
Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews, January 1, 2011:
"Handwritten notes, photos, maps and inquisitive sidebars (What did Earhart eat during flight? Tomato juice and chocolate) complete this impeccably researched, appealing package. A stunning look at an equally stunning lady."
Starred Review, The Horn Book Magazine, March/April 2011:
"The book’s structure and scope, along with the story’s inherent drama, provide a taut, cinematic backdrop for the history of Earhart’s doomed flight."
Starred Review, School Library Journal, March 2011:
"Ho-hum history? Not in Fleming’s apt hands. What could be a dry recitation of facts and dates is instead a gripping and suspenseful thriller...This book is splendid. Hand it to everyone."
Starred Review, The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, March 2011:
"Fleming cleverly structures this biography to give the tale of tragedy a fresh and dreadful impact...As a result, this offers not only a provocative introduction to Earhart but also compelling glimpse of what it was like to watch her disappear from the world."
School Library Journal
Gr 4–7—Ho-hum history? Not in Fleming's apt hands. What could be a dry recitation of facts and dates is instead a gripping and suspenseful thriller. Even though readers likely know the end of the story, Fleming makes this book difficult to put down by moving between several accounts of Earhart's disappearance and her chronological life story. Quotes from primary sources are woven so seamlessly throughout that it seems as though the individuals involved are telling the story. The Art Deco-inspired book design and excellent black-and-white photographs help to transport readers back in time. Fleming has made a phenomenal woman accessible to a new generation of readers; she unapologetically shows Earhart as a real person and dispels the mythology surrounding her. Exploring more than just her famous flights, she introduces Earhart's other pursuits. Being a pilot in the early 20th century was prohibitively expensive and Earhart had to be a savvy businesswoman willing to try anything and everything to earn enough money to stay in the sky. With G.P. Putnam, a proficient publicist behind her, she not only influenced the future of popular culture, but also forged a path of opportunity for women to follow. Fame is a business, and Earhart and Putnam worked steadily to achieve it; the legend of Amelia Earhart is a testament to their hard work. This book is splendid. Hand it to everyone.—Heather Acerro, Allen County Public Library, Fort Wayne, IN
…though Fleming allows Earhart her glamorous due, she also strips her of myth, giving readers the accuracy they deserve.
The New York Times
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.)
Children's Literature - Susan Treadway M.Ed.
Drawn from personal letters, handwritten notes, rare photographs, blazing newspaper accounts, critical maps, and diverse archival material, readers gain a new perspective about the extraordinary history of Amelia Earhart (1897-1937) and her husband George Putnam. Their story may be familiar concerning the troubled global flight as attempted by America's most prominent female aviator. However, distinctive features bring additional dimension to this examination of her bold efforts during the exploration of aviation and the role of women. Unique to this marvelous presentation are numerous insights that are interwoven about Earhart's personal life and family. With vintage fonts, grayscale text boxes and photos, and meaningful timelines, readers will sense drama building as the futile search for her downed plane culminates with profound words in Earhart's own pen. She did not back down from intense challenges whether coming from society's expectations about early twentieth century women, or from growing dreams, dealing with various aircraft and increasing publicity. Students will also gain a better understanding of related aspects such as Morse Code, highlights of aviation history including passenger flight, and the rigors of funding Earhart's multiple interests in order to generate flying opportunities. There are superb author notes within a fine Bibliography and Finding Amelia on the Web along with significant Source Notes by Chapter. Thus, Amelia Earhart emerges as a prominent figure of her time as a businesswoman, lecturer, author (two books and various magazine articles), fashion icon, correspondent, editor, and consultant in pursuit of her deep, life-long passion to become a well-respected, esteemed pilot. Reviewer: Susan Treadway, M.Ed.
The most intriguing part of Amelia Earhart's life is often thought to be the way it ended. A mysterious disappearance and an unsolved rescue mission is a powerful story on its own. But Fleming digs deeper and shows readers why everyone—from young girls who looked up to her to the First Lady of the United States—cared so much for this daring woman pilot. Chapters alternate between the days surrounding Earhart's fateful crash and her growth from child to trailblazer. The narrative shifts could have been maddening, for suspense reasons alone, but a rhythm is established and the two plotlines gracefully fold into the conclusion. The author also astutely reminds readers that Earhart had a public image to uphold and "took an active role in mythologizing her own life," so even excerpts from Earhart's published works can never be completely trusted. Handwritten notes, photos, maps and inquisitive sidebars (What did Earhart eat during flight? Tomato juice and chocolate) complete this impeccably researched, appealing package. A stunning look at an equally stunning lady. (bibliography, Internet resources, source notes, index) (Nonfiction. 8-12)