Module 10: Amelia and Eleanor Go For a Ride
Ryan, P.M. (1999). Amelia and Eleanor go for a ride. New York: Scholastic Press.
Based on the true story of the night Amelia Earhart and Eleanor Roosevelt made history by leaving a White House dinner and going on a flight around the city.
What Did I Think?
I enjoyed the way Amelia and Eleanor are defying the traditional role of women in the time period and find a way to make history and make a memory of their fun together. The large pictures are realistic and help to convey the time period. Their friendship and courage is brought to life in a book that inspires everyone to dream.
Kirkus Reviews (1999)
Ryan and Selznick skillfully blend fact and fiction for a rip-roaring tale of an utterly credible adventure. On April 20, 1933, Amelia Earhart had dinner at the White House with her friend, Eleanor Roosevelt. Amelia’s description of flying at night so entranced Eleanor that the two of them, still in their evening clothes, flew in a Curtis Condor twin-motor airplane and were back in time for dessert. Eleanor herself had studied for a pilot’s license, but had to be content driving instead. Selznick has created marvelous graphite pictures, with slight washes of color, for scenes based on accounts and descriptions of the evening, right down to the china on the White House table. Using a slightly exaggerated style and a superb sense of line and pattern, he plays with varying perspectives, close-ups, and panoramas to create a vivid visual energy that nicely complements the text. There is sheer delight in the friends’ shared enjoyment of everything from a formal dinner and fine gloves to the skies they navigated. A final historical photograph shows the two on the plane that night.
School Library Journal (September 1999)
Gr 1-4 Ryan imaginatively expands on a true historical event in this intriguing picture book. While dining at the White House in 1933, Amelia Earhart convinces Eleanor Roosevelt to join her on a night flight to Baltimore. The two women marvel at the sights and the excitement from the air. After landing, they sneak away for one more adventure, as this time, the First Lady treats her friend to a fast ride in her new car. The fictionalized tale is lively and compelling, and the courage and sense of adventure that these individuals shared will be evident even to children who know nothing about their lives. Without belaboring the message, the author clearly conveys how the “feeling of independence” that both women treasured was a crucial part of their personalities. Selznick’s larger-than-life pencil drawings add considerably to the spirit of the tale. He captures the glorious beauty of the night flight and the beauty of the city below. Varied perspectives and background details consistently draw readers’ eyes. An author’s note clearly defines which elements of the story are factual. The women were actually accompanied by two male pilots, but the author decided that it made it “much more exciting” to imagine that they were alone. “Almost all” of the dialogue comes from historical accounts. The title stands well on its own, but will also work as an excellent inspiration for further reading about the lives of Eleanor Roosevelt and Amelia Earhart. Steven Engelfried, Deschutes County Library, Bend, OR
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