Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Night Flight: Amelia Earhart Crosses the Atlantic

Night Flight: Amelia Earhart Crosses the Atlantic

Robert Burleigh
Illustrator:   Wendell Minor 
Picture Book
For ages 6 to 8
Simon and Schuster, 2011   ISBN: 978-1416967330

It is 7:12 in the morning on a May 20th 1932, and Amelia Earhart is sitting in her red Vega airplane waiting to take off from an airfield in Newfoundland. At last, the time is right and the plane “rolls down the runway.” At last, the moment she has been waiting for is here, and she can “follow the wide horizon that never ends!”

Amelia has achieved a great deal already, and now she is trying to be the first woman to fly alone across the Atlantic Ocean. She wants to do this because it has never been done before, and because Amelia wants to show the world that women are just as brave and determined as men.

Amelia thinks that this flight will be like so many others that she has made, but it isn’t. At around midnight, Amelia flies into a storm that tosses her little red plane all over the place. Her altimeter breaks so that she has no idea how high she is. Amelia tries to fly above the storm, but ice starts to build up on the wings and the little plane gets “sluggish.” Weighed down by the ice, the plane becomes almost impossible to control.

In this beautifully written and gorgeously illustrated picture book, the author and illustrator take the reader on a terrifying fifteen-hour flight across the Atlantic Ocean. Readers will get a very real sense of what it was like to be Amelia Earhart during that journey, and they will come to appreciate how courageous and resolute she was.

At the back of the book, the author provides readers with further information about Amelia Earhart, and the illustrator tells us a little about Amelia’s plane.