The Rise and Fall of Charles Lindbergh

by Candace Fleming (Author)

The Rise and Fall of Charles Lindbergh
Reading Level: 6th − 7th Grade

WINNER OF THE 2021 YALSA AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN NONFICTION FOR YOUNG ADULTS! SIX STARRED REVIEWS!

Discover the dark side of Charles Lindbergh--one of America's most celebrated heroes and complicated men--in this riveting biography from the acclaimed author of The Family Romanov. First human to cross the Atlantic via airplane; one of the first American media sensations; Nazi sympathizer and anti-Semite; loner whose baby was kidnapped and murdered; champion of Eugenics, the science of improving a human population by controlled breeding; tireless environmentalist. Charles Lindbergh was all of the above and more. Here is a rich, multi-faceted, utterly spellbinding biography about an American hero who was also a deeply flawed man. In this time where values Lindbergh held, like white Nationalism and America First, are once again on the rise, The Rise and Fall of Charles Lindbergh is essential reading for teens and history fanatics alike.

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Publishers Weekly

Starred Review

Fleming (Strongheart) skillfully crafts a layered portrait of a controversial figure: Charles Lindbergh. Well-paced sections covering Lindbergh's soaring popularity and plunging fall are divided into engaging segments. Passages about his early childhood establish his close relationship with his mother and the roots of his loner personality. In riveting detail and frequently quoting from Lindbergh's diaries and his wife's, Fleming relates his planning and execution of the solo transatlantic flight that made him the most famous man in the world, his marriage and the tragic kidnapping of his firstborn child, his obsession with engineering humankind's immortality, and the existence of his multiple secret families. Fleming finely hones the stark contrast between Lindbergh's rise and his fall from grace after he became fascinated with eugenics, sympathized with Hitler and the Nazis, and involved himself in America-first isolationist politics. A compelling biography of a flawed, larger-than-life man. Ages 12-up. (Feb.)

Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

School Library Journal

Starred Review

Gr 7 Up-- Build a wall. America First. Foreign invaders. While these phrases echo standard Trump rally talking points, they were first uttered by Charles Lindbergh. Fleming digs into her subject's complicated life to uncover his true character. Following the birth of aviation, the skies were dangerous and unruly. Anyone who wanted to fly could. Lindbergh heartily accepted the challenge: as a showman, an army pilot, an airmail pilot, and finally as the first man to fly nonstop from New York to Paris. His unprecedented feat turned him into an overnight sensation and also marked the beginning of his antipathy toward the press. Unfortunately, his fame brought tragedy when his first child was kidnapped and murdered. What followed was the original "trial of the century." Fleming's moment-by-moment narration of Lindbergh's flight and the loss of his child evokes excitement and grief. But there is more to his story. Lindbergh was the creator of an artificial heart, an early environmentalist, an advocate of eugenics, a Nazi sympathizer, and a leader of the America First Committee. He derided a free press and blamed American Jewish people for leading the country into war. He glorified fascism while claiming to be a patriot. This biography, told in short, easy-to-read chapters, at times reads like a suspense novel. Fleming successfully deconstructs the public persona of Lindbergh and highlights how some of the aviator's core values (nationalism, xenophobia) echo the country's current political and social unrest. VERDICT A must-read. Drawing on primary sources, including Lindbergh's own journal, Fleming has crafted a cautionary tale of the downfalls of hero worship.--Cathy DeCampli, Haddonfield Public Library, NJ

Copyright 2020 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

Praise for THE RISE AND FALL OF CHARLES LINDBERGH:

"There is no amped up moralizing in this fascinating chronicle...Reprehensible, estimable, complex: Ms. Fleming's portrait reveals a man of many parts." —The Wall Street Journal

"Absorbing and distressing in turns, this utterly prescient capture of a life—and the lives it influenced—is essential in classrooms and for history buffs alike." —Booklist, starred review

"A compelling biography of a flawed, larger-than-life man." —Publishers Weekly, starred review

"A must-read. Drawing on primary sources, including Lindbergh's own journal, Fleming has crafted a cautionary tale of the downfalls of hero worship." —School Library Journal, starred review

"[A] smoothly written, even-handed biography." —The Bulletin, starred review

"A historical narrative that couldn't feel more contemporary." —The Horn Book, starred review

"A comprehensive picture of a well-known, controversial man." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review


Praise for THE FAMILY ROMANOV:

"A remarkable human story, told with clarity and confidence." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"A wonderful introduction to this era in Russian history and a great read for those already familiar with it." —Publishers Weekly, starred review

For readers who regard history as dull, Fleming's extraordinary book is proof positive that, on the contrary, it is endlessly fascinating, absorbing as any novel, and the stuff of an altogether memorable reading experience. —Booklist, starred review

Fleming has outdone herself with this riveting work of narrative nonfiction that appeals to the imagination as much as the intellect. —The Horn Book, starred review

This is both a sobering work, and the account of the discovery of their bones and the aftermath is at once fascinating and distressing. A solid resource and good recreational reading for high school students. —School Library Journal, starred review

"With comprehensive source notes and bibliographies of print and online materials, this will be a boon to student researchers, but it's also a heartbreaking page-turner for YAs who prefer their nonfiction to read like a novel." —The Bulletin, starred review
Candace Fleming
Candace Fleming is the author of more than twenty distinguished books for children including The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia, winner of, among other awards, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Nonfiction. She received the NCTE Orbus Pictus Award and a Sibert Honor for Giant Squid. Her most recent book with Holiday House is Honeybee. She lives in Chicago.

Julie Downing has illustrated over forty-five picture books including The Fire Keeper's Son, Tessa Takes Wing and First Mothers. She has won many awards including a Parents Choice Award, the New York Public Library's Best Books Award, APAAL Best Illustrated Book and the Irma Black Silver Medal. Her work has been featured in the SCBWI Original Art Show.
Julie teaches illustration to undergraduate and graduate students at the Academy of Art University. She lives in San Francisco.
Classification
Non-fiction
ISBN-13
9780525646549
Lexile Measure
980
Guided Reading Level
-
Publisher
Schwartz & Wade Books
Publication date
February 20, 2020
Series
-
BISAC categories
YAN056010 - Young Adult Nonfiction | Transportation | Aviation
YAN006110 - Young Adult Nonfiction | Biography & Autobiography | Science & Technology
YAN025170 - Young Adult Nonfiction | History | United States - General
Library of Congress categories
Biographies
United States
Air pilots
Lindbergh, Charles A

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