Monday, February 7, 2011

Fly Me To The Moon

A Book Review:

Did you know Amelia Earhart claimed three titles? She was a writer, a lecturer and a pilot. Most people only associate her name with being a fantastic female pilot in what was then a man’s world.

Lori Van Pelt’s biography, Amelia Earhart—The Sky’s The Limit, published in 2005, paints a vivid picture of Amelia Earhart, taking the reader from her difficult childhood up to the day she was lost somewhere over the Pacific Ocean as she attempted to set yet one more record. She aimed to fly around the world’s waistline—the equator.

Born in Atchison, Kansas in the early 1900’s, Amelia moved with her mother several times. Her alcoholic father figured sporadically in her life, and yet she kept in touch with him and made a special effort to visit him often when he was dying.

She fell in love with airplanes and the idea of flying one at the age of ten when she saw her first plane at a state fair. She never stopped loving planes and flew one after another in her adult life breaking record upon record. No sooner had she set one record than she tried for another. Had she lived in later years, she probably would have hoped to be the first woman to go to the moon in a spaceship.

To fund this expensive passion she wrote articles for magazines like Cosmopolitan and even full length books about flying. She urged women to follow their dream as she had done, and she became a national heroine.

This tall, slender woman with a mop of curls, an infectious laugh and a sparkle in her eye captured the hearts of Americans and many other countries, as well. People read about her in newspapers, saw clips of her in newsreels at the movie theaters, and eagerly looked forward to the articles and books she wrote. No wonder a nation mourned when she was lost at sea.

I’d recommend this short biography. Read it for a bit of history, to understand what women were up against in the twenties and thirties and to learn about a remarkable woman. It would be a good read for young girls as well as adults.


  1. Amelia Earhart always captured my girlhood attention. She was my first concept of a feminist. I went to Atchison one time, while her childhood home was still in private hands, but I stood at the front of the house up on the bluff and looked east across the Missouri River. From that heighth I could look down upon the tree tops, and watch the birds swirling below me. I've always fancied it was in part the elevated view that provided Amelia with the inspiration that she, too, could fly.
    Peg Nichols

  2. You may be correct in your thought about Amelia and the birds. Now that I've read the book about her, I'd like to go to Atchison someday and see her home there. The one time I went to Atchison, KS it was to visit Nell Hill's shop!

  3. Nancy, our visit was an interesting experience. We stopped at the downtown chamber of commerce office and asked the little old lady in charge how to find the Earhart home. She really began chewing us out, loudly proclaiming that we had a lot of nerve for even asking, that the house was in private hands and the owners were sick and tired of strangers coming around and peeking in the windows. She kept up this angry tirade, following us as we hastened toward the door. Just as we stepped outside, her voice dropped several volumes and she whispered the directions, with a plea that we were not to step on the property, and please don't peek in the windows. We found the house rather handily, but we stayed very carefully on the sidewalk. Unfortunately, I haven't been back since it became a museum

  4. Now THAT is definitely an interesting story. :)

  5. This sounds like an interesting book, one I might suggest for our group. I've always been fascinated by Ms. Earhart and airplanes. I had a cousin who used to take us up in his plane. I always thought I would learn to fly, but never got around to it.