Amelia and Eleanor Go for a Ride

ISBN: 059096075X
ISBN 13: 9780590960755
By: Pam Muñoz Ryan Brian Selznick

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Biography Children Children's Books Childrens Historical Fiction History Non Fiction Picture Book Picture Books To Read

About this book

While still dressed in evening gowns, Amelia Earhart and Eleanor Roosevelt go on a night flight above Washington, D.C. on April 1933. Extensively researched, the story contains actual dialogue and facts of the account. Breathtaking illustrations tell the trip of these two American heroines as it might have been.

Reader's Thoughts

Jennifer Weiss

This is a story about two of the most influential and determined women in history. One is the First Lady and one is the first women to fly across the Atlantic Ocean solo. The two women are great friends and enjoy to go on adventures together. This takes place during a time where most women did not have rights or the luxury to do certain actives such as drive a car. There was much speculation about if women should be allowed to do the things these ladies were doing. I love the illustrations, even though they are in black and white, there is much detail and the illustrations are incredibly realistic looking. Also, since it is done in black and white it sets the time era. I would recommend this book for teachers of elementary school mainly. This shows girls and boys that you do not always have to conform to society and the stereotypes associated to them. It also gives information about two very important women in history.


What a great story about 2 powerful women in their day, developing a friendship and sharing a plane ride! The characterizations were exciting and the illustrations were utterly captivating, done in black and white (to reflect the era) and wonderfully reflective of the adventure and excitement these two women found in their lives and the connection they made with one another.


I noticed the illustrator included a sketch of Lorena Hickock in a frame with many other photos on the wall of a White House room on page ten. Hickock was a very close friend and perhaps lover to Eleanor Roosevelt. Nice attention to detail!

Emily Farnschlader

This book a ficitional book about Eleanor Roosevelt and Amerlia Earhart being friends. Eleanor was the First Lady or the United States and Amelia was famous for being the fist femail piolot to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. Amelia went to the White House to have dinner with Eleanor. After dinner, Eleanor went on a flight with Amelia in the dark then they took a drive in Eleanor's car. All throughout the story, people believe that because they are women they should not be able to do the things that they have done. This story talks about women doing what they want to do, not listening to the people that say they cannot. The message is that women can do anything that they put their mind to. These women did not listen to the men who were telling them that driving a plane or a car was for a man to do. This can be an introduction to a discussion about equality.

Lisa Vegan

When I borrowed this book from the library, at the same time as many other books, this one stood out because of the striking black and white cover illustration. At first, I wasn’t sure I was wild about the picture but it sure got my attention. Then, I was won over by the black and white illustrations throughout the book. They’re so big & vivid: I could see the blue in the scarf, the pink on the cake, the colorful flowers; I was able to “see” everything in color. The black & white also seemed authentic because the events take place in the 1930s, when movies and photos were in black & white.I had not known that Eleanor Roosevelt and Amelia Earhart were friends or that Eleanor received her student airplane pilot’s license. The events described in this story are snippets about two fascinating women.There’s an author’s note in the back of the book that tells of the research that went into this book. Perhaps instead of its place on my biography and history shelves it belongs on my historical-fiction shelf. Events were slightly changed, but this is basically a true story, as much a non-fiction book as many memoirs and biographies, so I’ll leave it as a non-fiction book.This was a fun book because the fun these women had and the enjoyment they felt was described so well, in both the illustrations and the story. This is one of six books for March about “outstanding women” that I’m reading for the Picture-Book Club at Goodreads’s Children's Books group. These two women were certainly remarkalbe and this book is an excellent selection for the upcoming discussion.


Fantastic story about Amelia Earhart and Eleanor Roosevelt's friendship. Wonderful message about girls being able to do the things that were once thought of as strictly for men. Illustrations were gorgeous- very "Chris Van Allsburg-ish".


Beautiful artwork. I recently found this at my local library and had to bring it home. You can definitely learn a lot from children's books! My family has been a fan of Brian Selznick's work and I immediately recognized his art style on the front cover.The story of Amelia and Eleanor was interesting and geared toward children. It did include enough details and facts of the time period to be informative and fun at the same time. It was easy to understand and it opened a good discussion between myself and my young daughter about who these famous ladies were and how different it was to live back in the 1930's. Pam Munoz Ryan included a great historical summary in the back that explained her inspiration for the story and what facts she used and "embellished" to create the story. It also gives some interesting historical facts about each woman and their role in American history.

Amy Carr

I really admire these 2 women. I find their stories and contributions to American culture and society to be fascinating and life-changing. I was excited to read this book but felt a little disappointed in the writing. The illustrations are beautiful and extrememly detailed...the illustrator researched what wallpaper, china pattern, drapery, etc. was used in the White House during the dinner the story describes. But in the end, you learn the "facts" vs. the "fiction" of the story and I would have rather just had the facts and photographs. Still an interesting read...

(NS) Becca

From Publishers WeeklyIn this sparkling picture book based on a true incident, Ryan (Riding Freedom, with Selznick) proves that Amelia Earhart and Eleanor Roosevelt truly were "birds of a feather." Friends in real life, America's First Lady invited the "First Lady of the Air" to dinner at the White House in 1933. Eleanor, inspired by Amelia's descriptions of Washington viewed from her plane at night, accepts the pilot's offer of an after-dinner flight over the capital. Before dessert can be served, and over the protests of the Secret Service agents, the two are off to the airport and up in the sky, thrilling to the brilliance of the city below. Hewing closely to documented accounts, Ryan's inviting text adds drama and draws parallels between the two protagonists with fictional touches: she places them alone together in the plane (an author's note explains that in fact they were accompanied by two male pilots) and adds a final scene in which Eleanor takes Amelia for a zippy ride around the city in her brand-new car. Selznick's illustrations, black-and-white graphite accented with touches of purple pencil, both capture the vibrancy of his subjects and evoke the feel of a more glamorous era. A brief but compelling slice from the lives of two determined, outspoken and passionate women. Ages 5-9. (Oct.) Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.


Another triumph for the team of Ryan-Selznick. Friends in real life, America's First Lady invited the "First Lady of the Air" to dinner at the White House in 1933. Eleanor, inspired by Amelia's descriptions of Washington viewed from her plane at night, accepts the pilot's offer of an after-dinner flight over the capital. Before dessert can be served, and over the protests of the Secret Service agents, the two are off to the airport and up in the sky, thrilling to the brilliance of the city below. The intimacy between the two women is palpable; especially in Selznick's illustrations. To the point where I may have discovered this as a coded lesbian story in my youth.


This is a work of historical fiction woven in, yet exaggerated, with actual facts about two amazing woman in U.S. history: Amelia Earhart and Eleanor Roosevelt. The illustrations are stunning, which is not surprising coming from the exceedingly talented Brian Selznick. The narrative swept my daughter and I both away, each page we were making speculations about if this tale could possibly be true. Thank goodness for the lengthy afterward clarifying all the truths or stretches of. How fantastic it would have been to go for a ride above Washington D.C. with these outspoken, determined woman!

Zach Naegele

In this book Amelia Earhart and Eleanor Roosevelt, long time friends, join for dinner at the White House. While enjoying their dinner they talk of the wonders of flying at night. Amelia and Eleanor decide to go for a flight around Washington to see the city at night. Amelia hops in the cockpit and flies the plane flawlessly around the city. When they return they are abuzz with the wonders they have seen. Next Eleanor hops in her new car with Amelia and they drive together on a straight away road with the wind blowing at their face. This true story shows how these women expressed their freedom and independence.

Jason Lilly

I picked this book up from the library mostly because of Brian Selznick's illustrations. After being mesmerized by The Invention of Hugo Cabret, it was great to see Selznick use his talent for a slightly younger audience.Amelia and Eleanor tells the story of the real life friendship between Amelia Earheart & Eleanor Roosevelt. The story, told simply but effectively by Pam Munoz Ryan, focuses on an enchanting evening when the two women enjoy a night flight from D.C. to Baltimore & back. Selznick enhances Ryan's words with accurrate & beautiful black & white sketches of the famous women, Earheart's plane, the White House, & a gorgeous two page scene of D.C. at night.If you enjoy children's books with captivating illustrations, you will love this book.

This wonderful book takes readers along on the glorious ride with Amelia and Eleanor, two very brave women. This book is inspiring to the young adventurers, explorers, and girls who want to grow up and make a difference. The details, excitement, and "can do" attitude in this book brings the story alive and inspires readers to do something greater. A great new look at two famous women in history and the courage they represent.

Sarah-Rae Bugayong

I remember reading this as a child in second grade, and I was delighted to see it was on the book list for primary readers. In all honesty, I haven't read since I was young. But as an adult I had a huge appreciation for the book. Ryan write an eloquent story of two very head strong women doing things that were out of the social norm of their time. I found the story inspiring due to the fact that two women were leaving a fancy dinner to go fly a plane and drive a car, still in there evening wear. I found that fact ironic, how they were doing "manly" things in elegant dresses and white gloves. I would read this book to help inspire young girls to go do what they want. Amelia and Elanor are two very prominent and inspiring women from the past, who can help young girls today to get their dreams out of the back door. If I do bring this into the classroom, I would also find a book for the boys in the class to enjoy as well. The illustrations were fabulous. I loved how everything looked like a black and white photo.

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