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

4.8 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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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.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 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 (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #649,519 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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: 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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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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