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Man Who Ran Faster Than Everyone: The Story of Tom Longboat

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Realistic fiction for tweens
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 6 Up-During the first two decades of the 20th century, when long-distance running was a sport with few participants but thousands of spectators, Tom Longboat was the dominate competitor. A Canadian-born Onondaga Indian, he battled racism, rumors of alcohol abuse, and poor training habits to rise to the top of his sport. Longboat won scores of road and track races in North America and Europe from 1905 to 1930, including the Boston Marathon. Batten presents a balanced portrait of this preeminent sports personality who is still considered Canada's greatest marathon runner. In addition, he provides insight into how the sport was viewed at that time and explains the significance of the Olympic and Boston marathons and other races. The book provides a glimpse into life at the beginning of the 20th century and insight into media influence. The two dozen black-and-white archival photographs, many of Longboat competing in various races, add to the book's value.
Michael McCullough, Byron-Bergen Middle School, Bergen, NY
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From Booklist

Gr. 7-12. The early-twentieth-century longdistance runner Tom Longboat, a Native American, recently topped contemporary hockey marvel Wayne Gretsky on a list of "The 100 Most Important Canadians in History." Longboat began his running career at 17 and was soon racking up victory after victory, including a recordsetting finish in the 1907 Boston Marathon. His amazing winning streak was peppered with rare but spectacular defeats, including a collapse at the 1908 Olympics that led some to question whether he had been slipped a small dose of strychnine. Throughout his career, Longboat endured a series of lessthanscrupulous managertrainers, including one who repeatedly wrote racist remarks about him in newspapers. Looking from the outside in, Batten does a capable job of presenting Longboat's exciting life and the challenges he faced as a Native American, but readers get little from the runner's own perspective. They'll be left wondering about the heart of the man who won the medals. Randy Meyer
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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