Reviews for Amelia Lost : The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart
Booklist Reviews 2010 December #1
Drawing on her training as a historian and her considerable writing talents, Fleming (The Great and Only Barnum, 2009) offers a fresh look at this famous aviatrix. Employing dual narratives--straightforward biographical chapters alternating with a chilling recounting of Earhart's final flight and the search that followed--Fleming seeks to uncover the "history in the hype," pointing out numerous examples in which Earhart took an active role in mythologizing her own life. While not disparaging Earhart's achievements, Fleming cites primary sources revealing that Earhart often flew without adequate preparation and that she and her husband, George Putnam, used every opportunity to promote her celebrity, including soliciting funds from sponsors. The use of a gray-tone background for the disappearance chapters successfully differentiates the narratives for younger readers. Frequent sidebars, well-chosen maps, archival documents, and photos further clarify textual references without disturbing the overall narrative flow. Appended with a generous bibliography and detailed source notes, this is a book most libraries will want both for its fascinating story and as an illustration of how research can alter historical perspective. Copyright 2010 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2011 Fall
Fleming begins her gripping narrative aboard the Itasca, a ship helping guide Earhart to Howland Island for refueling. The text then backs up to explore Amelia's life. Interspersed with the main text are short chapters about civilians claiming to have picked up mayday calls. The book's structure and scope, along with the story's inherent drama, provide a taut backdrop for Earhart's history. Websites. Bib., ind. Copyright 2011 Horn Book Guide Reviews.
Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2011 #2
The book's title references newspaper headlines run on July 3, 1937, one day after Earhart lost radio contact with the coast guard ship Itasca. Fleming begins her gripping narrative aboard that ship, which was helping guide Amelia to tiny Howland Island for refueling. After a cliffhanger chapter-ender -- "in the radio room...the other crew members sat listening to the Ômournful sound of that static.' Where, they wondered, was Amelia Earhart?" -- the text backs up to explore Amelia's early life. Fleming has mined the wealth of Earhart research to present reader-friendly details, from baby Amelia's first photo to her 1906Ð7 report card to a humorous anecdote (in Amelia's own words) about her dog, James Ferocious. Iconic images and stories about the flier are also included -- and sometimes deconstructed -- as Fleming describes the behind-the-scenes publicity machine that was working hard to keep Amelia in the spotlight. Interspersed with the chronological main text are thought-provoking short chapters about civilians who claimed to have picked up Earhart's mayday calls. Fleming also periodically cycles back to the Itasca's frantic efforts at communication and the U.S. Navy's failed search-and-rescue operations -- reminders to readers about the desperate immediacy of the situation as it was unfolding. 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. Append[Sat Dec 20 13:01:58 2014] enhancedContent.pl: Wide character in print at E:\websites\aquabrowser\IMCPL\app\site\enhancedContent.pl line 249.
ed are a bibliography, a list of websites, source notes, and an index. elissa gershowitz Copyright 2011 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 2011 January #1
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) Copyright Kirkus 2011 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
Library Journal BookSmack
Fleming's biography of the famous pilot begins with the radio exchange just before her disappearance. Her last recorded words-"We are on line 157-337. We will repeat message...we are running on line north and south"-were an attempt to locate the radio frequency of Howland Island, a tiny coral spit that was to be a refueling stop on her 1937 trip over the Pacific Ocean. Fleming goes on to detail Earhart's early life, flying career, and marriage to George Putnam before returning to her fateful last voyage and the resulting search for her whereabouts. The book's title comes from newspaper headlines the day after she lost contact. Fleming has a gift for humanizing larger-than-life figures from history, as also evidenced by her much-honored The Great and Only Barnum (2009). - "35 Going on 13," Booksmack! 8/18/11. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2011 January #3
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.) [Page ]. Copyright 2010 PWxyz LLC
School Library Journal Reviews 2011 March
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 [Page 179]. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.