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America's Champion Swimmer: Gertrude Ederle Hardcover – March 1, 2000


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Hardcover, March 1, 2000
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 580L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Gulliver Books; 1st edition (March 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0152019693
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152019693
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 11.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,260,230 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The team behind The Babe & I and Lou Gehrig: The Luckiest Man here abandons the baseball field for the chilly, choppy waters of the English Channel, which Ederle swam across in 1926. The first woman to accomplish this feat, Ederle also beat, by almost two hours, the existing men's record. Widener's stylized acrylic paintings again creatively evoke a bygone era, while Adler's direct yet descriptive narrative establishes the historical context. He notes that in 1906, the year of Ederle's birth, women in most states could not vote: "Many people felt that a woman's place was in the home," writes Adler. "But Gertrude Ederle's place was in the water." Readers will warm to the heroine, a city kid who was taught how to swim only after she, at age seven, fell into a pond and nearly drowned. Text and art offer a compelling, in-depth account of the adult Ederle's crossing of the Channel, as she swam for more than 14 hours from Cape Gris-Nez, France, to Kingsdown, England, despite driving rain, strong winds, high waves, a powerful current--and her trainer's directive to quit. An exciting story, well told; kids will dive right in. Ages 6-9. (Mar.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 4-This picture-book biography covers the life of Gertrude Ederle, highlighting her world-record breaking, long-distance swims. In 1926, women were thought to be the weaker sex, but this indomitable young athlete broke the men's record by two hours when she swam the English Channel. Fascinating tidbits about her 21-mile swim will entice readers: "She floated on her back and ate chicken and drank beef broth." For her victory, she was rewarded with a ticker-tape parade and a letter from President Coolidge calling her "America's Best Girl." More information about her life is appended. In the acrylic paintings, characters with large bodies and small heads, suggesting Depression-era art, are set on impressionistic backgrounds. The pictures of the swirling, rough water add fluidity and motion, and the perspectives that show the small figure of the swimmer in the vast sea capture the immensity of Ederle's endeavor. Attractive formatting and large type make this story of achievement as effective and as inspiring to read aloud as this team's Lou Gehrig: The Luckiest Man (1997) and The Babe & I (1999, both Gulliver).
Jean Gaffney, Dayton and Montgomery County Public Library, OH
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

I write both fiction and non-fiction. I begin my fiction with the main character. The story comes later. Of course, since I'll be spending a lot of time with each main character, why not have him or her be someone I like? Andy Russell is based, loosely, on a beloved member of my family. He's fun to write about and the boy who inspired the character is even more fun to know. Cam Jansen is based even more loosely on a classmate of mine in the first grade whom we all envied because we thought he had a photographic memory. Now, especially when my children remind me of some promise they said I made, I really envy Cam's amazing memory. I have really enjoyed writing about Cam Jansen and her many adventures. For my books of non-fiction I write about subjects I find fascinating. My first biography was Our Golda: The Life of Golda Meir. To research that book, I bought a 1905 set of encyclopedia. Those books told me what each of the places Golda Meir lived in were like when she lived there. I've written many other biographies, including books about Martin Luther King, Jr; George Washington; Abraham Lincoln; Helen Keller; Harriet Tubman; Anne Frank; and many others in my Picture Book Biography series. I've been a Yankee and a Lou Gehrig fan for decades so I wrote Lou Gehrig: The Luckiest Man. It's more the story of his great courage than his baseball playing. Children face all sorts of challenges and it's my hope that some will be inspired by the courage of Lou Gehrig. I am working now on another book about a courageous man, Janusz Korczak. My book One Yellow Daffodil is fiction, too, but it's based on scores of interviews I did with Holocaust survivors for my books We Remember the Holocaust, Child of the Warsaw Ghetto, The Number on My Grandfather's Arm, and Hiding from the Nazis. The stories I heard were compelling. One Yellow Daffodil is both a look to the past and to the future, and expresses my belief in the great spirit and strength of our children. I love math and was a math teacher for many years, so it was fun for me to write several math books including Fraction Fun, Calculator Riddles, and Shape Up! Fun with Triangles and Other Polygons. In my office I have this sign, "Don't Think. Just Write!" and that's how I work. I try not to worry about each word, even each sentence or paragraph. For me stories evolve. Writing is a process. I rewrite each sentence, each manuscript, many times. And I work with my editors. I look forward to their suggestions, their help in the almost endless rewrite process. Well, it's time to get back to dreaming, and to writing, my dream of a job. David A. Adler is the author of more than 175 children's books, including the Young Cam Jansen series. He lives in Woodmere, New York.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 27, 2000
Format: Hardcover
A wonderful book. It gave sooo much information. Parents will love it. I feel the author tried to tell us something. I think he wants us to keep trying to accomplish our goals and not be bothered by what other people say.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Melissa Sack VINE VOICE on February 28, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is a children's biography on Gertrude Ederle. It tells of her life starting with her childhood. We learn that she almost drown as a child and this made her father want to teach her to swim. I learned that she was brave and determined. She worked hard to reach her swimming golas. She won many awards for her swimming races.

I enjoyed learning about a new person. I had never heard of Gertrude Ederle before I read this book.

We would recommend this book. Gertrude Ederle is a good perosn to study. She would make a great role model for girls. Especially girls who are interested in swimming..
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My grandchildren love this book! One of the girls has told everyone the story. She is so inspired that someone who was once afraid of the water became such a great swimmer!
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Format: Hardcover
Purchased for my 9-year-old daughter who swims competitively for our local swim team. We read it together ... she's also read it alone several more times. Recently while walking our dog, she said that she wanted to "do something spectacular like Gertrude Ederle". This story really impressed her. We both love books like these ... success stories about regular people ... like us.
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Format: Paperback
I bought this for my niece, a 7-year-old swimmer, along with a fun swim cap. The illustrations are beautiful-- stylized to fit the time period and reminiscent of the Triplets of Belleville. My niece was so excited that there had been a real swimmer that beat the boys. Adler stays true to history and tells a good story. I would recommend it!
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