Not only do I give away books, but I enter giveaway contests myself. Recently I won Her Fearless Run (Page Books, 2019) by Kim Chafee and illustrated by Ellen Rooney from Kathy Temean's blog. (By the way, if you're interested in writing or illustrating for children, this is a blog you want to follow!) I'm pleased to share this book with you and the young runners in your life.
Ever since she was a young girl, Kathrine Switzer loved to run. As a twelve-year-old, she would mark her laps with a piece of chalk on a tree along her route.
The mailman stared. The milkman asked if she was okay. Because in 1959, it was strange to see a girl running.
Girls weren't supposed to sweat. Girls weren't supposed to compete. They were too weak, too fragile, for sports. That's what most people thought.
But not Kathrine.
Kathrine loved running so much that when she went to college and didn't find a women's running team, she joined the men's team. She learned about the Boston Marathon and decided she wanted to train for it. When she told the volunteer team manager and her coach, Arnie Briggs, her dream he replied, "Women can't do that kind of distance. They can't run that long."
"But I run six or even ten miles with you every night!" Kathrine shot back.
Determined to prove that she could complete the marathon, Kathrine ran despite bitter cold, snowbanks, and swollen toes. She even had to cut triangle wedges out of her sneakers to get them on her feet.
On April 19, 1967, 741 runners registered (a record!) and Kathrine was the only woman with an official number. Even though a race official attempted to push her out of the race, Kathrine ran on.
For a moment, Kathrine wondered if she should quit. She still had twenty-four miles to go.
Suddenly, finishing wasn't just about her. If she quit now, no one would believe that a woman could run a marathon. People would still say women weren't supposed to sweat. Women weren't supposed to complete. They were too weak too fragile. They shouldn't be allowed to run.When she rounded the final corner and crossed the finish line, reporters surrounded her and asked what made her run the Boston Marathon.
Her answer was simple. "I like to run. Women deserve to run too."
I am giving away this inspirational picture book to one fortunate individual. Share this blog on social media or become a new follower of my blog and I'll enter your name twice. Make sure you tell me what you have done in the comments and leave me your email address if you are new to my blog.
Teachers: You can download a classroom guide for use in grades 1-6.