Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Little Guides to Great Lives: Amelia Earhart

Little Guides to Great Lives: Amelia Earhart

Isabel Thomas
Illustrator:  Dalia Adillon 
Nonfiction  Series
For ages 7 to 10
Laurence King Publishing, 2018   ISBN: 978-1786271600

Amelia May Earhart was born in 1897 and she, her sister, and her parents were a close knit family. It was obvious very early on that Amelia was rather special. When most girls were playing quietly with dolls and learning how to sew, Amelia was building a rollercoaster in her garden. She loved inventing things and having exciting adventures, and hated the way “people expect boys to be better at stuff.” She also hated wearing dresses.

When World War I broke out Amelia decided to do her part to help. She left school before graduating and moved to Canada where she served as a nurse until the war came to an end. In Toronto Amelia and her sister visited an airfield and they saw a stunt pilot perform. From that moment Amelia was in love with planes. In 1920 she was able to go up in a plane for the first time at an air show in California, and that was when she decided that she wanted to become a pilot.

Unfortunately, flying lessons were expensive and so Amelia got a job and began to save money. Soon enough she was taking lessons with a female pilot and she took on more jobs so that she could pay for her hobby. After six months Amelia was able to buy her first plane, and in 1923 she got her international pilot’s license; Amelia was the sixteen woman in the world to get one. Amelia was now allowed to compete in women’s flying races, though many races were not open to her because they were events for men only. Amelia found this very annoying indeed.

Then one day Amelia got a call from a publisher called George Putnam. Putnam “was looking for a woman brave enough to travel by plane across the Atlantic Ocean” and he thought Amelia was the right person to take on the “tough and dangerous mission.” Amelia was a passenger on the plane, and when the trip was successfully completed she became famous. Amelia took advantage of her fame to further her career as a woman pilot, and that was when things really got interesting.

This engaging, carefully researched, and beautifully presented book will delight young readers who have an interest in flying and the story of Amelia Earhart. There are illustrations and maps throughout the narrative, and the author also helps readers to understand how much the world was changing in the years when Amelia was alive.

This is one in a series of books that explore the lives of “the most inspirational figures from history in a fun, accessible, way.”