HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Sky Pioneer: A Photobiography of Amelia Earhart
Author and Illustrator: Corinne Szabo
Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books, reprinted in 2007
ISBN-13: 978-0792237372 Hardcover
ISBN-10: 0792237374 Hardcover
ISBN-13: 978-1426300448 Paperback
ISBN-10: 1426300441 Paperback
Related website: http://www.nationalgeographic.com (publisher)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Ages 8-10 and up
Rating: ***** 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Szabo, Corinne. Sky Pioneer: A Photobiography of Amelia Earhart (published in 1997 by the National Geographic Society, 1145 17th St. NW, Washington, DC 20036; republished by Scholastic Inc., 555 Broadway, New York City, NY 10012). Amelia Mary Earhart (1897–c. 1937) was an American aviation pioneer and author who was the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, receiving the U.S. Distinguished Flying Cross for this record. She set many other records and wrote best-selling books about her flying experiences. During an attempt to make a circumnavigational flight of the globe in 1937 in a Purdue-funded Lockheed Model 10 Electra, Earhart disappeared over the central Pacific Ocean along with her navigator Fred Newman while trying to make Howland Island. This photobiography does not focus on the usual fascination with Earhart’s disappearance but chronicles her life and accomplishments.
At an early age, Amelia Earhart showed herself to be adventurous and daring, but her interest in flying did not develop until she worked as a nurse in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. An illuminating collection of archival photos along with a detailed narrative biography and italicized quotes throughout from Earhart’s own writings make up this inspiring visual account of Amelia Earhart’s life and times. The final section includes nearly full page, clear maps showing her final journey across the continents, and an afterword discusses the theories about how and why she vanished. In the back there are also a chronology of Amelia’s life, a bibliography for further reading, and an index for easy reference.
The most accepted theory for Amelia’s disappearance has been that the flight had ended in the Phoenix Islands, now part of the Republic of Kiribati, some 350 miles southeast of Howland Island, possibly on Gardner Island, now Nikumaroro. After this book was written, it was reported on Oct. 28, 2014, that new research strongly suggests that a piece of aluminum aircraft debris recovered in 1991 by The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) from Nikumaroro does belong to Earhart’s twin-engined Lockheed Electra. The evidence remains circumstantial, but Earhart’s surviving stepson, George Putnam Jr., has expressed support for TIGHAR’s research.