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Amelia Lost: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart Hardcover – February 8, 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

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. Grades 4-7. --Kay Weisman

Review

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."

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 930L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Schwartz & Wade (February 8, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375841989
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375841989
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 0.6 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,649 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
All I can say is this is the best book about Amelia Earhart I have ever read -- and honestly, I've read plenty. Fleming's biography is not only honest, but suspenseful -- not easy to do with an historical life everyone already knows about. Or do they? This book made me reconsider everything I'd ever heard about Amelia, and in the process, made me admire her more. In addition, the book's cinematic flair -- the way it cuts between Amelia's life story and the absolutely riveting story of the search for her downed plane -- makes it almost impossible to put down. Did we need another Amelia Earhart book? After having read Fleming's incredible book, I can loudly and enthusiastically say, "YES!" And I wonder... are nonfiction books eligible for the Newbery award? I'll keep my fingers crossed for this one!
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Format: Hardcover
My first reaction to Candace Fleming's new book on Ameila Earhart was really? Did we REALLY need another children's book on this subject? A quick (and by no means exhaustive) search of Amazon.com indicates there are 134 children's books about the famed aviator. Comparatively, Clara Barton only rates 65, Eleanor Roosevelt clocks in at 108, Dolly Madison -- 15, Abigail Adams -- 68, Marian Anderson --20, Susan B. Anthony -- 49, Helen Keller -- 119, Rosa Parks -- 122, and Sally Ride -- 34.

Fleming's book is unique though and is a rich addition to the Earhart bookshelf as 2012, will mark the 75th anniversary of her disappearance over the Pacific Ocean.

Fleming shares this story in a unique way by planting the reader right there, on board the Coast Guard cutter Itasca, in the early morning hours of July 2, 1937, where the crew is listening and watching for Earhart's plane. The skillful storytelling pulls the reader right into the mystery of Amelia's disappearance. Even though we know the outcome, the reader feels caught up in the search and hopes that the story might have a different outcome this time. Hope flares for her recovery.

The book design invites the reader to dip in anywhere or read the story straight through. Images are captioned, and interesting facts and related events are highlighted in text boxes throughout. Some of the most fascinating aspects of the story to me were the pages featuring shortwave radio listeners in Wyoming and Florida who may have picked up some of the last broadcasts from the doomed plane.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fleming does a superb job of pulling the reader into Earhart's story. The book is eminently readable and would make a good read-a-loud. Starting with Earhart's idyllic childhood and moving through the difficult years of Amelia's father's alcoholism, the author lets the reader see the forces that shaped the woman that Earhart became. Showing no judgements of Earhart, Fleming simply tells the facts as they are known and leaves the reader to make up his/her own mind about Amelia.

Fleming does the seeming impossible by getting the reader so involved in the story that he/she somehow hopes the end of the story will be different than he/she knows it to be. The design of the book is sharp and easy to follow with photographs placed appropriately through out. Sidebars add interesting information about Earhart and the people around her. I highly recommend this book to those who love a good story and a fascinating piece of history.
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Format: Hardcover
When I was growing up my schoolroom classes would routinely learn about the great unsolved mysteries of the world. How they made Stonehenge. What really happened to the people of Roanoke? And why did Amelia Earhart disappear? Various biographies made of the woman for kids sort of allude to this question early in the book, forget about it during the middle section, then do a quickie wrap-up of it at the end. Basically, they take one of the most interesting mysteries in history and render it a dull dishwater gray. As such, an Amelia Earhart biography would not normally interest me. That is, before author Candace Fleming got her paws on the material. Fleming's no fool. She knows that if you have a mystery then there is probably a pretty exciting story to tie onto it. Continuity has its charms, but why not chuck the standard bio format if you can get away with it? As such, we get Amelia Lost: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart. Alternating between the "life" part and the "disappearance" part, kids get sucked into the nail-biting near misses of Amelia's rescuers between biographical sections where you come to care about the woman herself. And, of course, it's researched to the hilt. Nice, that.

When some of us think of the disappearance of Amelia Earhart, we think of that eerie moment when she was there one moment and gone the next. In truth, it wasn't like that. In fact, it was a lot more interesting. In alternating chapters author Candace Fleming jumps back and forth between Amelia's biographical details and the many people who heard Amelia's cries for rescue (in vain). There was the fifteen-year-old in Florida who heard "This is Amelia Earhart" issuing from her radio. The sixteen-year-old boy in Wyoming who heard it too.
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