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Young readers book reviews for ages 8 to 12 years old

*Amelia Lost: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart* by Candace Fleming - middle grades nonfiction book review
Also by Candace Fleming:

Tippy-Tippy-Tippy, Splash!

The Fabled Fifth Graders of Aesop Elementary School

Clever Jack Takes the Cake

The Great and Only Barnum: The Tremendous, Stupendous Life of Showman P.T. Barnum

Seven Hungry Babies

Imogene's Last Stand

The Lincolns: A Scrapbook Look at Abraham and Mary
Amelia Lost: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart
by Candace Fleming
Ages 10+ 128 pages Schwartz and Wade February 2011 Hardcover    

Candace Fleming has once again created an outstanding biography, this time about a woman who remains one of the most intriguing personalities and mysteries of the 20th century: Amelia Earhart.

Packed with historical photographs, the book begins with the search for Amelia after she lost contact with officials waiting for her to refuel on Howland Island in the middle of the Pacific Island. This and subsequent sections are visually separated from the biography portion of the book utilizing a light gray background. Each “lost” section is only a few pages long and addresses a different element relating to the search for Amelia’s plane.

The more traditional biographical part of the book is organized into traditional chapters, which are separated by the short sections about the search for the missing Amelia. Fleming covers Amelia’s entire life from her tomboy childhood and alcoholic father to her outstanding academic achievements and social work.

With her thorough researched, the author successfully points out the myths surrounding Earhart and also explores the reasons behind many of her endeavors. As soon as Amelia made her first transatlantic flight, she became a celebrity. Her husband, George Putnam, carefully orchestrated her public life, keeping her in the limelight with books, lectures, promotions and even her own clothing line. In the end, Amelia’s life was devoted to flight – breaking records and capitalizing on the latest in flight technology.

Because of her celebrity stature, the search for Amelia Earhart became a concern of the entire world. The sections on the search for Amelia capture the reader’s attention from the beginning. Evoking a sense of urgency and suspense, these sections could actually be read apart from the biography – attracting young readers who desire real-life mysteries and disasters.

Interspersed within each chapter are historical photographs and captions which provide additional insights into Amelia’s life and family. Additional sections – including a brief history of flight, personal anecdotes and biographies of other people who impacted her life – all add to the young reader’s background knowledge and understanding of how and why Amelia accomplished so much in her short lifetime. There are hundreds of biographies written about Amelia Earhart, most of them written for children. Candace Fleming’s Amelia Lost: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart is truly one of the best.
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  Kristine Wildner/2011 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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