From School Library Journal
Gr 2-5-On a May evening in 1932, Amelia Earhart climbed into her single-engine, red Lockheed Vega and flew across the ocean, departing from Newfoundland and landing on a farm in Northern Ireland. Burleigh's suspenseful text and Minor's shifting perspectives work in tandem to pull readers into the drama as they experience the anxiety and exhilaration that accompanied this historic flight. Earhart's skill, stamina, and courage are put to the test when a thunderstorm erupts, her altimeter breaks, and icy wings cause the plane to plummet. She faces the "Hour of white knuckles....Hour of maybe-and maybe not." The third-person narrative is arranged in two-line stanzas of free verse; the language is fresh and evocative, morphing to match the mood-by turns terse, lyrical, relentless. Minor's gouache and watercolor scenes pull back from intense close-ups and cockpit perspectives to sweeping panoramic vistas, his fluid brushwork a perfect match for a tale of sea and sky. This book will encourage children to consider the inner resources required to undertake such a feat when pilots had only themselves to rely on-in this case, traversing 2000 miles without the security of land. Back matter includes a technical note, bibliography, and inspirational quotes from Earhart's writings. Endpapers depict a map of the flight and a rendering of the plane. Pair this with Nikki Grimes's Talkin' About Bessie (Scholastic, 2002) to present another female aviator who experienced the pleasures and perils of being a pioneer.-Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
*Starred Review* A worthy new addition to the recent spate of books about the famous aviatrix, Burleigh�s story concentrates on Earhart�s 1932 solo flight from Newfoundland to Ireland, placing compelling poetic emphasis on her single-hearted struggle. �Why? Because �women must try to do things as men have tried,�� writes Burleigh, quoting Earhart. Terse two-sentence stanzas tell a story focused upon the flight�s trials: a sudden storm (�the sky unlocks�), ice buildup on the plane�s wings, a precipitous plunge toward the Atlantic�s frothing surface, and a cracked exhaust pipe (�The friendly night becomes a graph of fear�). The loneliness of the effort is finally relieved over a farmer�s field, where Amelia lands and says, �Hi, I�ve come from America.� Minor�s illustrations maintain tension by alternating between cockpit close-ups and wide views of the plane crossing the foreboding ocean. Predominant reds and blues convey the pure excitement of the nail-biting journey. An afterword, along with Internet resources, a bibliography, and a column of Earhart quotes, increases the book�s value for curious children who might want more. Finally, Minor�s endpapers, with a well-drawn map and mechanical illustration of the plane Earhart called the �little red bus,� also work to inspire further learning. Grades 1-4. --Karen Cruze