Award-Winning AWB (Award-Winning-Books) 2015 Books Crazy for Comics GB Challenges graphic novel Non-fiction Wednesday Nonfiction Picture Books Reading Themes

[Nonfiction Wednesday] The Pilot and the Strongman: Biographies of Amelia Earhart and Louis Cyr in Panels


Fats here.

We are delighted to join the Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge 2015 hosted by Alyson Beecher @ Kid Lit Frenzy. We would also be linking our nonfiction choices with our reading themes throughout the year, as well as reading challenges that we have pledged to join this year.


nw1104kAmelia Earhart: This Broad Ocean

Author: Sarah Stewart Taylor
Illustrator: Ben Towle
Publisher: Disney Hyperion Books (2010)
Intended audience: Middle grade and up
Award: Nominee for Best Publication for Kids (Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards 2011)
Book borrowed from Medina County Public Library. Photos taken by me.

Told in graphic-novel style, this biography of Amelia Earhart by Sarah Stewart Taylor and Ben Towle is probably one of my favorite juvenile non-fiction reads. Amelia Earhart was one of the world’s most celebrated aviators. Born in Kansas, Amelia Earhart became known as the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.



“Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others.”
– Amelia Earhart

In the Introduction provided by Eileen Collins, readers learn about Amelia Earhart’s life – her growing years, how she developed a love for flying, and her achievements as an aviator. What Sarah Stewart Taylor and Ben Towle did was to re-imagine a period in Amelia Earhart’s life that highlights Amelia’s strength and determination.



Taylor and Towle focused on Amelia’s triumphant flight across the Atlantic Ocean in 1928, adding the fictional story of a young, aspiring journalist named Grace Elizabeth. The graphic novel was, in fact, written in Grace’s point of view. It took place during the time Amelia Earhart set foot in Trepassey, a small fishing village in Newfoundland.


I had so much fun reading Amelia Earhart: This Broad Ocean. I loved the white and blue color scheme that the illustrator used in the book. This graphic novel included panel discussions in the back, as well as bibliography and suggested readings. The intertwined lives of Grace and Amelia Earhart, including their strong will and commitment to their dreams would serve as an inspiration for young readers.


nw1104lThe Strongest Man in the World: Louis Cyr

Author and illustrator: Nicolas Debon
Publisher: Groundwood Books (2007)
Intended audience: Middle grade and up
Award: Winner for Non-Fiction (Boston Globe/Horn Book Award 2007)
Book borrowed from Hudson Library & Historical Society. Photos taken by me.

I didn’t know who Louis Cyr was until I accidentally came across this book. Nicolas Debon’s presents us with another juvenile biography done in panels. I was originally planning to feature this along with Box Brown’s Andre the Giant: Life and Legend. The latter is intended for mature readers, and this post is meant to feature reading resources for kids.

Louis Cyr was a famous French-Canadian strongman. Nicolas Debon’s work highlights some important aspects in Louis Cyr’s life. Cyr was born into a family of tall, robust, and strong people. His grandmother Philomène was over six feet tall and raised all seventeen of her grandchildren along with her husband.



The book talked about Louis Cyr’s rise to becoming the world’s strongest man. If Amelia Earhart: This Broad Ocean primarily used blue and white, The Strongest Man in the World used mostly brown, gray, and black. There’s a lot of storytelling involved in this graphic novel than meets the eye. The three-tiered panels are packed with words and information about Louis Cyr. His life story was told through flashbacks, and spoken by Cyr to his daughter. Like the other graphic novel I featured, this book shows the strength of one man, both in body and soul, and his impressive feats that remain unequaled to this day. If you are looking for a unique juvenile biography to read, then you might want to add this to your list!



#AWBRead2015 Challenge Update: 95 (35)


#nfpb2015 Challenge Update: 60, 61 (25)

4 comments on “[Nonfiction Wednesday] The Pilot and the Strongman: Biographies of Amelia Earhart and Louis Cyr in Panels

  1. Thank you for sharing both of these! They are both new to me 🙂


  2. Thank you for sharing these books with us. We just finished up our Graphic Novel Celebration (#GNCelebration) and didn’t hear about these titles.


  3. Oooh I want both! These are both new to me. I love biographies, and haven’t come across too many graphic-novel style biographies. Nonfiction and graphic novels are great alternatives for reluctant readers, and it’s nice to see the two combined 🙂


  4. I never knew about Louis Cyr before. He sounds interesting. 🙂


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