Amelia Lost: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart by Candace Fleming

Yes, we think we know everything there is to know about Amelia Earhart, especially if you saw that movie with Hilary Swank. But since I skipped that film, I was actually surprised by how much I didn’t know about this first lady of flight. For example, did you know that:

She looked uncannily like this man, another early pioneer of flight?

Her “naturally curly hair” wasn’t natural?

Her father was an alcoholic? This caused Amelia to become a caretaker of her family at a young age.

She wasn’t a big fan of marriage? She was engaged in her youth for about four years and then broke it off. Then she fell for a married man. After he was divorced she finally married him, after making him beg her for two years. But only after he agreed to one-year probationary period.

She worked for a while at a settlement house for new immigrants? She taught English and coached a basketball team.

She was a fashion designer? The Amelia Earhart Clothing Company: “Good lines and good materials for women who lead active lives.”

She was the Lady GaGa of her time in terms of self-promotion? There wasn’t a speaking engagement or a parade she wouldn’t attend in order to make more money for flying.

She was best buds with Eleanor Roosevelt?

She wasn’t solo on her final flight? Her co-pilot was Fred Noonan, a former navigation teacher for Pan Am who suffered from alcoholism, but was also considered “a navigational genius.”

Her husband didn’t declare her dead until two years after she disappeared?

I was flabbergasted! (Especially by the hair thing:) Author Candace Fleming also intersperses each chapter with accounts of regular people who claimed to have heard Amelia radioing for help on their home radios, which adds another level of intrigue to this history mystery. Full of great archival pictures, interesting anecdotes, and plenty of speculation about what really happened on that fateful flight, this fascinating biography will be flying into a library, bookstore, or e-reader near you March 2011.

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