Burleigh, Robert. 2011. NIGHT FLIGHT: AMELIA EARHART CROSSES THE ATLANTIC. Ill. by Wendell Minor. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978141697330 [Suggested Grade Levels 2-5]
“Everything she has ever learned courses through her blood.
Now or never. All or nothing.”
Many books written about Amelia Earhart chronicle her fateful and failed last journey. This strikingly illustrated account details Earhart’s lengthy, daunting, thrilling and successful trans-Atlantic flight in May, 1932. Minor’s gouache and watercolor paintings perfectly capture the essence of the journey—from the thrill of adventure at take-off, to the anxiety, danger and even terror during the storm-ridden flight, to the exuberance of a safe landing in an Irish field. Colored pencil drawings on the end pages show both a map and timeline of this flight, as well as a rendition of Earhart’s Lockheed Vega airplane, nicknamed “The Little Red Bus.”
Though the basic story is told clearly through the illustrations, the simple and straightforward text expands upon the details, offering more insight into both the particulars of the flight and to Earhart herself. A bibliography, Internet resources, and a list of pertinent quotes from Earhart are also included.
Readers may well be interested in learning more about Amelia Earhart or other women who accomplished extraordinary things, after this introduction. Additionally, this social studies/history book could be combined with a science lesson on thrust, air pressure, and lift culminating with children designing their own paper airplanes.
More picture book nonfiction about adventurous women:
Ryan, Pam Muñoz. AMELIA AND ELEANOR GO FOR A RIDE. ISBN 059096075X
Adler, David A. AMERICA’S CHAMPION SWIMMER: GERTRUDE EDERLE. ISBN 0152019693
By Sarah C. Dornback