Kirkus Reviews QR Code
AMELIA EARHART by Shelley Tanaka


The Legend of the Lost Aviator

by Shelley Tanaka & illustrated by David Craig

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-8109-7095-3
Publisher: Abrams

Tanaka desensationalizes a spectacularly fascinating life with clear, understated prose. She sketches Earhart’s idyllic-to-difficult childhood, her work as a nurse’s aide in Toronto and as a social worker in Boston and her flights across the Atlantic first as a passenger and then as solo pilot. Earhart was a media star through writing and speaking—the fact that she was also gorgeous is not mentioned in the text but is quite evident in the archival photographs. The narrative makes vividly clear how fragile the airplanes of the 1930s were, how difficult the navigation, how unreliable the instruments. It summarizes the theories—none of them definitive—as to how Earhart’s last journey ended. Craig’s paintings, along with historical photographs, sidebars and captions, enliven and enrich the page layout. Earhart’s comment that “I want to do it because I want to do it” will resonate strongly with both girls and boys who claim adventure as their own. (references, source notes, index) (Biography. 8-12)