Monday, June 27, 2011

Nonfiction Monday: Amelia Lost

Today for Nonfiction Monday, I am highlighting a great new nonfiction book about Amelia Earhart.  Not only does Earhart still fascinate us, but she provides a glimpse into a past that was anything but boring.  I'm always on the lookout for nonfiction books I can use to show the kids I work with that history can be really fascinating.

Amelia Lost: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart
by Candace Fleming
schwartz & wade books, 2011
Grades 4-8
Reviewed from purchased copy.

From the acclaimed author of The Great and Only Barnum—as well as The Lincolns, Our Eleanor, and Ben Franklin's Almanac—comes the thrilling story of America's most celebrated flyer, Amelia Earhart. In alternating chapters, Fleming deftly moves readers back and forth between Amelia's life (from childhood up until her last flight) and the exhaustive search for her and her missing plane. With incredible photos, maps, and handwritten notes from Amelia herself—plus informative sidebars tackling everything from the history of flight to what Amelia liked to eat while flying (tomato soup)—this unique nonfiction title is tailor-made for middle graders. (

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.

Nonfiction Monday is being hosted today over at Wendie's Wanderings. Stop by for more great nonfiction reviews.

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