Friday, September 7, 2012

Friday Reads: Amelia Lost

Here's a little family history lesson for you:

My 23rd great-grandfather was the 15th great-grandfather of Amelia Earhart's husband.  (Or something like that, anyway.  It's hard to count back that many generations.)

That makes us almost related, right?

Anyway, ever since I realized this pseudo-family relationship existed, my fascination about her story has bordered on obsession.  So when I heard about this book, I had to read it.  In fact, I made my son choose it for one of his school book assignments.  Hey, he thanked me for making him read it, so my obsession turned out to be a good thing in this case.

You should read it, too.  I'm just saying....

Buy this book!

Amelia Lost
by Candice Fleming

For: 8-12-year-olds

Genre: non-fiction, biography

Published: 2011

Description (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.

Why I liked it: Aside from my Amelia Earhart obsession, this book was so well-written and captivating that I couldn't put it down.  The recounting of her final flight, in particular, was mesmerizing.  And I appreciated that the author was willing to point out Amelia's flaws as well as her successes, since it gives the reader a more well-rounded picture of who Amelia Earhart really was.

Do you have any other narrative biographies that you can recommend?  I really do love a good biography, so if you know of one, please tell me in the comments below.

And happy weekend reading!


  1. DD had a serious obsession with Amelia Earhart when she was very little. She’d ask almost daily if they found her already...
    But it seems you did- in a good book.

    1. Your DD and I would get along just fine, then. ;) Truth be told, my obsession was more when I was young, too. But this book revived it a bit. It was that good of a book.

  2. I had an obsession with Laura Ingles Wilder and Anne of Avonlea.