Fleming, Candace (2011). Amelia lost: The life and disappearance of Amelia Earhart. New York: Schwartz & Wade Books.
Plot Description: This book is a biography of Amelia Earhart, from her birth, childhood, family life, education, work, first interest in flying , pilot lessons, rise to fame, carefully cultivated public persona, record breaking flights, marriage and final journey. Interspersed throughout her life story are accounts from the search for her missing plane. The story of Amelia’s life is broken up by accounts from those who heard her last messages. It begins with the ship docked near her intended landing spot to help her find the tiny island, which would became part of the search party, as well as others involved in the search, both on land, in the air and at sea. There are also accounts from average people who claim to have heard her distress signals on their home shortwave radios.
Quantitative Reading Level : Lexile Measure: 930L, ATOS Book Level: 6.6, Interest Level: Middle Grades 4-8, Ages 8-12 is printed on the inside of the jacket
Qualitative Reading Analysis: The text structure features two different story lines (Amelia’s life story and the search for her missing plane) that are both chronological, but alternates between the two. Interspersed throughout her life story are accounts of the search. This juxtaposition between her life and the mystery that surrounds her disappearance, heighten the readers interest and are done in a way that it is very obvious when there is a switch, so there is not confusion for the reader. Photographs, maps and charts give supplemental information throughout the text to enrich understanding of the time period, aviation and important events, but are usually not necessary for understanding. Vocabulary is familiar and relies on common knowledge, with some discipline specific aviation terms, which are explained. The sentences are mostly complex in structure. Whenever there are references to outside ideas or events they are explained for the reader.
Content Area: Reading, History (US History)
Content Area Standard: English Language Arts Standards for College and Career Readiness: Anchor Standard for Reading
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.5 Analyze the structure of texts, including how specific sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text (e.g., a section, chapter, scene, or stanza) relate to each other and the whole.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.7 Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.1
English Language Arts Standards for Writing
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.8.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.8.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.
English Language Arts: History/Social Studies
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.5 Describe how a text presents information (e.g., sequentially, comparatively, causally).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.9 Analyze the relationship between a primary and secondary source on the same topic.
History-Social Science Standards for CA: Grades 6-8
- Students explain the central issues and problems from the past, placing people and events in a matrix of time and place.
- Students understand and distinguish cause, effect, sequence, and correlation in historical events, including the long- and short-term causal relations.
- Students recognize the role of chance, oversight, and error in history.
- Students recognize that interpretations of history are subject to change as new information is uncovered.
Curriculum Suggestions: Social Studies-Have students look for primary sources on the internet, such as photographs, news stories, news reels, audio recordings, etc that feature Amelia Earhart or her disappearance. Have students do an investigation on women in flight since Earhart. Use Google Earth to map Earhart’s flight. Language Arts-Have students write the end to Amelia’s story from her point of view. Analyze the authors structural choices in breaking up Amelia’s life story with accounts of the search for her missing plane.
Supporting Digital Content:
Awards: Orbis Pictus Honor, Kirkus Editors Choice/Best Book, School Library Journal Best Book, Golden Kite Award/Honor Book
Character names/descriptions: Amelia Earhart, a pioneer in aviation and women’s independence.
High interest annotation: The life of one of the most well known aviation pioneers in history intermingled with the mysterious disappearance of her plane and firsthand accounts of the subsequent search efforts.