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Charles A. Lindbergh: A Human Hero

by James Cross  Giblin

Published by Clarion, 1997
212 pages
ISBN: 0-395-63389-3

Ages 11 - 14

A fine biography of the aviator reveals the independent spirit evident from youth that fueled his love of flying and adventure and led to his famous solo flight across the Atlantic in 1927. Early chapters focusing on Lindergh's childhood and young adulthood will fascinate young readers; still a boy, Lindbergh drove his politician father around the state of Minnesota on the campaign trail; as a young man he worked as a wingwalker to gain time in the air. Lindbergh's intense planning and preparations to attempt the recordbreaking New York to Paris flight, from finding financial backers and the right plane manufacturer to overseeing the actual plane construction are also detailed. At the same time, author James Cross Giblin shows an intensely private, at times unknowable individual who was unprepared for the world attention thrust upon him when he landed in Paris. Over the year's he wore the hero's mantle with unease, and yet utilized his position of fame to preach his own beliefs. Prior to World War II, those beliefs included passionate advocacy for the United States to stay out of the war, despite growing public awareness of the Hitler's persecution of the Jewish people and others. This led to the hero's, if not the human's, downfall, and young readers will discover a man whose most famous deed was hardly the sum of his life, but whose life was forever changed by that one act which was mistakenly interpreted by so many to mean he was infallible. In this sense, Giblin's biography is as much a portrait of a nation's hero worship and fascination with the rich and famous as it is of the subject of that adulation, and it is a profile that is deeply disturbing, and one that resonates today. CCBC categories: Biography and Autobiography (MS; Jan 5)  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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