Monday, July 25, 2011

Nonfiction Monday: Amelia Lost: The life and disappearance of Amelia Earhart by Candace Fleming

There have been quite a few juvenile biographies of Amelia Earhart, many of them quite recent. She is an iconic figure, made legendary by her mysterious disappearance and retains the fascination her contemporaries felt for her. Candace Fleming has written the last biography of Earhart you’ll ever need to buy (unless her body and/or plane is miraculously discovered someday)

The detailed story of Amelia's life is interspersed with a moment-by-moment recounting of her disappearance and the search missions that attempted to find her. In these inserts, we see the excitement, worry, and the many mysterious clues and radio messages that made her tragic disappearance such a huge national event.

The biographical information about Amelia's life is detailed and emphasizes her complex personality. Fleming doesn't shy away from Earhart's painful childhood with an alcoholic father, her family's poverty, and her own driving ambition for fame. Controversies over her university grants and public press is also included. She is portrayed sympathetically, but as a real person, not a legend.

Maps, photographs, original documents, quotes from contemporaries, and information on historical events that shaped Earhart's life are sprinkled throughout the text. A detailed bibliography, list of websites, and source notes are also included. I reviewed this from an ARC, so didn't see the photo credits and index, but they were both marked as to be included in the final edition.

Verdict: A required purchase for your biography section - weed your old Earhart biographies and replace them with this title.

ISBN: 9780375841989; Published March 2011 by Schwartz and Wade; Reviewed from ARC provided by publisher at ALA Midwinter 2011; Purchased for the library

1 comment:

Ms. Yingling said...

Absolutely! And this has circulated amazingly well for a biography. I loved it.