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

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...


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!

Jenny Young

Age:Grades 2-4Genre:historical fictionDiversity:feminism; independenceIllustrations:Illustrations look like they were drawn with pencil.Personal response:The book being based off of a true event makes it so much better to me. It shows powerful females during a time in which it was probably unusual for females to exert this type of behavior. I really enjoyed how the similarities of the two women were conveyed and the inclusion of the dessert recipe at the back of the book.Curricular or programming connections:This book would be good for a social studies lesson on these two historical female figures and also the geography of the area described in the story.

Ginny Marie

Amelia and Eleanor combine forces to arrange in impromptu night flight during a formal dinner at the White House. The book does a wonderful job of explaining that independent women were not always allowed to do independent things when Amelia and Eleanor were alive. At the end of the story, Eleanor reciprocates on her magical flight with Amelia at the helm by taking Amelia for a drive in her new automobile. While Muñoz Ryan changed some facts to create this wonderful story, Amelia really did take Eleanor on a spontaneous night flight.At the end of the story, the author included the recipe for Eleanor Roosevelt's Angel Food Cake with Pink Clouds, an actual White House recipe. She also includes a historical photo taken of Amelia and Eleanor on the airplane during that night flight.

Stephanie Delvecchio

Summary: Amelia and Eleanor Go for a Ride was written by Pam Munoz Ryan and illustrated by Brian Selznick. Appropriate for children ages five through ten, this book describes an adventure taken by Eleanor Roosevelt, the First Lady, and Amelia Earhart, the pilot. Amelia was invited to go to the White House, where her and Eleanor begin their adventure. After eating dinner, Amelia takes Eleanor on a plane ride to Baltimore and back. Eleanor, sharing a love for independence and adventure with Amelia, thoroughly enjoyed this. Before ending the night, Eleanor takes Amelia for a joy ride in their new car. This book is based on a true story, and is a great book to add to a history lesson. It discusses how unusual it was for women to be pilots and to drive cars. These women were part of some of the first generations of women to really push for equality among men and women. In the "Author's Note," Ryan tells the real history behind this eventful night. She also mentions how both Amelia and Eleanor were great activists for women's rights. I really enjoyed this book. I can imagine using this book as a read-aloud for fun or for an introduction to a history lesson. This book was elected as an American Library Association Notable Book for Children (ALAN) and as a Notable Social Studies Trade Book by the National Council for the Social Studies in 2000. Themes: Women independence, determination, history, activists, civil rightsCurricular use: Read aloud, independent readingLevel: ages 5-10

Josh Wagner

This book tell the story of Amelia Earhart and Elanor Roosevelt, two very important women in our history. While meeting at the White House for dinner, dressed in elegant gowns, the two decide to have a little adventure. They find a plane, make their way to it, and Amelia flies them around. Upon landing and facing some media, the two then go for a ride in Elanor's new car. This book may not seem historically important, but when put in context it is hugely important. This was a time when women were not seen as equals to men, so for one woman to fly a plane and another to be driving fancy cars was unheard of. Amelia was famous for her flying, but to be accompanied by the first lady on an impromptu flight was huge, and this book tells that story very well.

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.


This piece of historical fiction is one of my least favorite that we read during the year. It always seems so contrived to me. Building enthusiasm for a flight at night strains me. :)The students seem okay with it. Based on the friendship between Amelia Earhart and Eleanor Roosevelt, the story has Amelia and G.P. (her husband, George Putnam) having dinner at the White House. The author has Mrs. Roosevelt describe it as "her" house. That language bothers me to no end as the White House does not belong to the president's family any more than it does to you.The language of the story is very good, however. Terms such as starstruck, outspoken, practical, brisk, elegant, elevations, marveled, and miniatures dot this short story.The ending is so fabricated that it couldn't be true, with Mrs. Roosevelt escaping the protection of the Secret Service to go joyriding. Ho hum.I'd skip this if given the choice . . .****18 October 201115 October 2010

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.


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".


The story centers on a dinner at the white house where Amelia Earhart is Eleanor Roosevelt’s guest of honor. The story is based on the real friendship of the two extraordinary women, but is fictionalized. Ryan does a great job of capturing the adventurous spirit of the pair—through a night time flight over and a drive in Washington DC. Ryan discusses how the women both did more than what was expected of a woman at that time. The intricate black and white drawings help create the historical setting and portray Roosevelt and Earhart accurately. The back of the book provides a recipe from an old White House Cookbook for Eleanor Roosevelt’s Pink Clouds on Angel food Cake. There is also an extensive author’s note that describes Ryan’s research process and discusses what from the story is true.


Based on a real incident in the lives of two famous women, Amelia Earhart and Eleanor Roosevelt, this picture book describes how the famous aviator takes the First Lady for a spin in the middle of a dinner party in the White House and then imagines that turn about is fair play and has Eleanor take Amelia for a speedy ride in her new automobile, leaving the Secret Service agents behind. After their ground-breaking activities, the two women return to the dinner party and enjoy dessert. The text and graphite pencil and colored pencil illustrations allow the women's inner beauty and zest for life to shine. Readers feel as though they are present at the dinner and perched right over the shoulders of the two women as they fly through the air. Fans of Amelia and Eleanor will simply have to add this book to their classroom or home library.

Nicole Cingiser

This picture book is based on the true story of a visit to the White House by Amelia Earhart and a nighttime airplane flight over Washington DC with Earhart and Eleanor Roosevelt. Although some of the facts were modified (the changes are outlined in interesting historical notes at the end of the book), this is a wonderful story of a night in which two historical giants decided to go on an adventure together (in formal wear, no less)! This fun tale of camaraderie is a nice introduction to the groundbreaking work these women did, and would make any reader wish that they could have been in the plane that night in 1933.

Stephanie Sapp

The story is great but Selznick's illustrations are amazing! A great read aloud for Women's History Month.

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.

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