Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Amelia Earhart: This Broad Ocean

Amelia Earhart: This Broad Ocean

Sarah Stewart Taylor
Illustrator:  Ben Towle 
Graphic Novel
For ages 10 and up
Hyperion Book CH, 2010   ISBN: 978-1423113379

Grace lives in Treppassey, which is Newfoundland, Canada. She loves to listen to the stories that people tell about the world, and she likes to write down what she hears so that she can share the “news” with others. On June 4th 1928, a seaplane arrives in the fishing town. Grace hears that a woman is on board who plans on being the first woman to fly across the Atlantic. She won’t be flying the plane herself, but she will be a passenger for what promises to be a very dangerous and difficult journey. The woman’s name is Amelia Earhart.

Grace soon discovers just how dangerous this flight is going to be. Some people say that Amelia should stay behind and that she is “not much more than baggage” that the pilot and mechanic don’t need. Day after day Amelia and the crew try to take off but the conditions just aren’t right. There is a very real danger that another pilot, the glamorous Mabel Boll, might make it across the Atlantic first.

One rainy night Grace gets the opportunity to ask Amelia some questions about her life and she discovers that Amelia is a brave, smart, and independent woman, just the kind of person Grace admires.

This graphic novel gives readers a delightful picture of what it would have been like to witness the beginning of one of Amelia Earhart’s famous flights. Though she was not actually flying the plane, Amelia was the first woman to make a journey across the Atlantic in an airplane – something several woman had died trying to do. Through Grace’s eyes we get a sense of what it was like to be a woman in North America in the 1920’s and how hard it was for a woman to have a career. With simple white, black, and blue illustrations and a perfectly paced text, this is a book that all young Amelia Earhart fans should read.