From School Library Journal
Grade 3–6—Although this biography of the famous aviator who has fascinated Americans for decades has no new information to offer, it is nicely formatted and has attractive illustrations. The work is shaped like a picture book but has a lot of text, some with hundreds of words per page. Tanaka focuses on Earhart's flying and spends only a little time on other aspects of her life. The writing is interesting and flows well. A list of sources for all the quotes used appears in the back matter, and the bibliography and index are substantial. The book is illustrated primarily with the same set of historical photographs found in other Earhart biographies. However, seven full-page paintings by Craig add vitality to this offering. These realistic pictures are carefully researched and visually dramatic. They match the feeling of the historical photos and the tone of the narrative. This is a good choice for those needing a profile of the famous flier. DK's Amelia Earhart: A Photographic Story of a Life (2007) is also well written, delves deeper into the woman's personal life, and is a good choice for those wanting a longer biography.—Donna Cardon, Provo City Library, UT
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*Starred Review* Amelia Earhart has been the subject of many youth biographies, but this one, a picture book for older children, is especially informative—and attractive. Earhart’s story begins when Amelia is 11 and a plane is pointed out to her at an Iowa fair. She is unimpressed then, but as a college student who volunteered as a nurse’s aide during the First World War, she saw planes aplenty and caught the flying bug. By the 1920s, Earhart was airborne and found fame in the air—as the first woman passenger on a transatlantic flight, then setting her own flying records. Tanaka writes with the sweep and excitement of an airplane climbing into the sky, while the format and visuals wonderfully enhance the text. In addition to a treasure trove of archival photographs, which capture Earhart’s appeal from her youth, there are a variety of handsomely rendered paintings, starting with the cover illustration that shows Earhart in her plane as crowds of male onlookers cheer. Several sidebars enlighten readers on everything from technical problems to fan mail for girls. Though Tanaka doesn’t turn this into a feminist tract, preferring to let Earhart’s accomplishments speak for themselves, she does point out that women’s options were limited, even as several women flyers appear in the book. Well sourced and well written, this is a fitting tribute to a high flyer. Grades 2-4. --Ilene Cooper
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