the life and disappearance of Amelia Earhart
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When some of us think of the disappearance of Amelia Earhart, we think of that eerie moment when she was there one moment and gone the next. In truth, it wasn’t like that. In fact, it was a lot more interesting. In alternating chapters author Candace Fleming jumps back and forth between Amelia’s biographical details and the many people who heard Amelia’s cries for rescue (in vain). There was the fifteen-year-old in Florida who heard “This is Amelia Earhart” issuing from her radio. The sixteen-year-old boy in Wyoming who heard it too. There was the housewife in Texas trying to find an overseas radio program. All these near calls are contrasted with Fleming’s many little-known Earhart facts. Amelia never really flew her “first flight”. She was given identical poses to Charles Lindberg in her publicity shots due to her likeness to the fellow pilot. Her father encouraged her, but also near ruined his family with his alcoholism. And maybe most significant of all, Amelia blew off her instruction in learning how to operate her radio . . . a choice that undoubtedly led to her death. With a director’s grace, Fleming draws the two storylines together in the end, leaving us with little doubt as to Ms. Earhart’s eventual fate. A Bibliography and Source Notes appear at the end.
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