The Fastest Girl on Earth: Meet Kitty O’Neil, Daredevil Driver! By Dean Robbins, illustrated by Elizabeth Baddeley

Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers

The Fastest Girl on Earth!: Meet Kitty O'Neil, Daredevil Driver!: Robbins,  Dean, Baddeley, Elizabeth: 9780593125717: Amazon.com: Books
The Fastest Girl on Earth!: Meet Kitty O'Neil, Daredevil Driver!: Robbins,  Dean, Baddeley, Elizabeth: 9780593125717: Amazon.com: Books

Summary:  Kitty O’Neil may have lost her hearing as a baby, but she never let it stop her from doing the most daring deeds she could find.  From movie stunts to speed records for water skiing and boat racing, Kitty embraced any challenge.  Her biggest goal was to break the women’s land-speed record of 308 miles per hour in the Motivator, her rocket-powered car.  On December 6, 1976, Kitty drove across the Oregon desert, reaching a speed of 618 miles per hour.  Her fans cheered wildly: “Kitty could not hear their cheering, but she could feel it in her bones.”  Includes an author’s note with additional information about Kitty and her car; a list of her world records; and additional resources.  40 pages; ages 4-8.

Pros:  Focusing mostly on Kitty’s record-breaking drive, the story is exciting and incorporates facts about her early life.  The author’s note provides additional context.  This belongs on any list of books featuring people with disabilities.

Cons:  It seems unfair that Kitty had to average two drives for the world record, so the official speed is 512 mph.

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