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Night Flight: Amelia Earhart Crosses the Atlantic Hardcover – February 22, 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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.

From Booklist

*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

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 500L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books; First Edition edition (February 22, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781416967330
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416967330
  • ASIN: 1416967338
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 0.4 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #254,909 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Related Media

More About the Author

Over the past 35 years, I have published poems, reviews, essays, many filmstrips and videos, and more than 40 children's picture books.

Born and raised in Chicago, I graduated from DePauw University (Greencastle, Indiana) and later received an MA in humanities from the University of Chicago. I've published books for children since the early 1990s. My books - including numerous unpublished ones! - run a broad gamut, from stories geared for pre-schoolers to survival stories and biographies aimed at seven to eleven-year-olds. My work is wide-ranging because, basically, I'm a generalist by experience - and inclination!

In addition to writing, I paint regularly under the art name Burleigh Kronquist and have shown work in one-person and group shows in Chicago, New York, and elsewhere around the country.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Night Flight is a wonderful biographical picture book which details Amelia Earhart's solo transatlantic flight in May of 1932. The flight began in Harbour Grace, Newfoundland on a red Vega plane. The story of this courageous woman, and her love of trying new things will be etched in the reader's mind. Whether it was roller skating, riding roller coasters, or horses barebacked, Amelia wasn't afraid to try new things.

In vivid detail, the author describes the "shimmering clouds", "mountains like wrinkles in the earth" and cities which appeared like "toy blocks" while she flew high in the sky. Her flight was not an easy one as she found herself caught in a raging storm, and the engine of her plane grew "sluggish". Some may ask, why would a woman in the early 1930's do what Ameila Earhart did? "Because, women must try to do things as men have tried".

The story is well-written and educational, and one that should stay with the reader. The illustrator, Wendell Minor has won numerous awards for dozens of picture books. The vivid blue sky, red Vega plane and billowy clouds will stay with me. This book should be a part of school and public library collections everywhere.
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Format: Hardcover
There are no shortage of books for young people about aviator Amelia Earhart--everything from picture books to longer biographies. So do we really need another book about Amelia? I'd answer with a resounding "yes"; this new release by Robert Burleigh, which came out just in time for Women's History Month, is a terrific addition to what is already in print.

On his website, Burleigh comments that no matter what his topic (he has written over 30 books), he likes the book "to convey the feeling of immediacy, of being there--whether there is flying an airplane, hitting a baseball, or painting a picture." In his newest book, just released in February, he has indeed succeeded admirably in making us feel that we're right there with Amelia on her dangerous 1936 solo flight across the expanse of the Atlantic ocean.

This handsome picture book opens with Amelia about to take off on May 20, from Newfoundland. The text is evocative and poetic, almost in free verse. "The plane swoops like a swallow/over dark puddles and patches of tundra...Amelia Earhart lives for this moment: to follow the wide horizon that never ends!" We see Amelia's red Vega plane already far in the distance, as small figures on the ground wave goodbye.

The writing is full of suspense as danger strikes--a raging storm. "The friendly night becomes a graph of fear: a jagged line between where-I-am and not-quite sure." Will Amelia be able to pilot her plane across the vast ocean to safety?

This time Amelia will land safely in the Irish countryside, startling some cows in the pasture, as a farmer comes running to greet her.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The illustrations and poetic text create a hauntingly beautiful account of Amelia Earhart's crossing of the Atlantic. It does get tense when she encounters bad weather and has equipment malfunctions. The information about and quotes from Earhart at the back of the book are truly inspiring.
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Format: Hardcover
Night Flight is about Amelia Earhart's 1932 historic solo flight from Newfoundland to Ireland.

Earlier this year, my third grade students had several lessons on historical fact vs. historical fiction. One of the topics we covered was Amelia Earhart. They became very interested in learning about this remarkable woman. As a result, I'm constantly on the look out for good books on Amelia Earhart to share with them.

Burleigh's book is a beautifully illustrated biographical picture book detailing Earhart's historic flight. Even though most readers will already know that Earhart's flight was successful, the text is written in a suspenseful manner that will keep readers on the edge of their seats. Students will enjoy Wendell Minor's classically beautiful paintings and educators will appreciate the afterword, technical note, bibliography and listing of quotes by Earhart that Burleigh includes at the end of the book. This is an excellent book to supplement lessons on historical fact vs. historical fiction or for celebrating famous women in history.

Night Flight is a must add for any school or classroom library collection.

Recommended for 3rd Grade and up.

Mrs. Archer's rating: 5 of 5!
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Format: Hardcover
I checked out this book at the library for my 8-year old daughter and now I'm buying a copy for our permanent collection. The illustrations are beautiful and the storytelling poetic. I read the book to her last night and once we were done, we looked at our globe so she could see how very far Amelia went by herself (a great geography lesson).

This is a great conversation starter, not only for the roll Amelia Earhart played in history, but also to talk about bravery, fear, courage and determination. One reviewer wrote that the language was depressing and the book poorly written, but at my daughter's age, the metaphors were engaging. This books shows that heroes are not fearless super-humans, rather normal people who rise to unthinkable challenges. I got choked up a few times reading myself, actually.

We're going to the library to return books today, but my daughter wants to read it again tonight, so this book is staying home... not something she usually requests.
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