Book Review: DK Life Stories Amelia Earhart
Romero, Libby. DK Life Stories Amelia Earhart. DK Publishing, Penguin Random House. 2020. 128 pp. ISBN: 978-0-2414-1155-1.
There are many great educational books out there that are designed to capture the attention of children and young adults. This biography of Amelia Earhart is a fantastic example of fun learning. This fun learning tool was written by a former journalist and teacher, which probably would account for the entertaining and engaging aspects of how it was written. Although it is a biography, it is written in a story-telling type of narrative rather than an advanced reader's biography. Although it would be fun for historians of any age, this monograph is clearly targeted toward a young demographic. The fonts are fun and dynamic and there are many illustrations by illustrator Olga Baumert as well. The structure of the book follows a linear timeline of Amelia's life and is not overburdened with technical information that would confuse a general reader.
The book is broken up into chapters that seem to follow major milestones in Amelia's life. These milestone chapters correlate with the established canon in regards to categorizing Amelia's life into sections. Before the book dives into the first chapter there is a note to the reader. Romero stated that it was a shame for Amelia to only be remembered for the tragedy of her disappearance. That final act of greatness often overshadowed the many other amazing things she did in her life. Romero expressed a level of admiration for Amelia in this note and there is a tone of hopefulness for the reader to find that awe and admiration as well.
The book fittingly begins with Amelia's birth in Atchison, KS at her grandparent's home, which happens to be this wonderful museum now. Where this book review parts from most is the fun storybook-type mood Romero has employed in her writing. Amelia's childhood comes across as relatable and fun, like a young girl in a novel. Romero kept the additional about her parents and family life to a relevant minimum which is ideal for a young or adolescent audience. Some topics, such as the father's alcoholism may be considered by some to be inappropriate for an elementary audience.
As the book moves through the different parts of Amelia's life, fun side notes and blurbs appear on the pages to add additional context or explanation. For example, there is a blurb about World War II on the page that discusses her time as a Nurse's Aide. Don't let the book's appearance fool you though, it may be targeted at younger readers, but it is stocked full of information. This book is perfect for a report about Amelia or for someone interested in her life and achievements. There is just enough extra explanation and side notes for someone less familiar with historical facts without exhausting those that are familiar with history. Overall, this book is highly recommended for the casual reader, student, and teacher.