Monday, January 9, 2012

Looking for Newbery - Amelia Lost

I have been reading many places about the literary merit of Amelia Lost: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart by Candace Fleming.  Now that I've read Amelia Lost, can I just say, "Wow!!"  It is worthy of any honor it might receive in this upcoming awards season!!!

I love how, much like Wonderstruck, there are two parts of the story that flip back and forth until the entire story line merges together toward the end. 

One part of the story is cliffhanger after cliffhanger as the reader waits, eagerly hoping that Amelia will land safely at Howland Island in the Pacific Ocean for her refueling on the final leg of her around the world flight.  Instead, we hear about call signals missed between the Coast Guard and Amelia - they can't seem to hear one another, even though several people in the United States heard some of her distress calls on their CB radios at home.  The tension is built so well by Fleming, I could actually feel my stomach clenching as I hoped someone would find and save Amelia, even though I am well aware of the outcome of the search.

The other part of the story takes us back in time, starting when Amelia was born and gives us the background information necessary to understand this very complex woman.  Amelia is at times caring,  and at other times selfish, but she always has an adventurous streak within that pushes her to test her limitations.  Many of the insights I gained about Amelia were foreshadowing possible reasons for her ill-fated final flight.

This could very well be one of the best biographies I've ever read!  The language is gorgeous and there are many quotes from Amelia that tie it all together.  And the extra artifacts and other information Fleming intersperses throughout the book just add to its depth. 

Amelia Lost is absolutely a winner!

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