Girl Running: Bobbi Gibb and the Boston Marathon by Annette Bay Pimentel, illustrated by Micha Archer

Published by Nancy Paulsen Books

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Summary:  Bobbi Gibb had to wear a skirt to school, and she wasn’t allowed to join the track team.  But when she got home, she headed outside to run as much as she liked.  Bobbi grew up near Boston, and after seeing the Boston Marathon one year, she decided to train.  Running in nurses’ shoes (there were no women’s running shoes at the time), she sometimes covered 40 miles in a day; yet her application for the marathon was rejected with a letter saying “women are not physiologically able to run twenty-six miles”.  Undaunted, Bobbi bought herself a baggy sweatshirt and some boys’ running shoes and snuck into the 1966 race.  Other runners cheered her on, as did spectators along the course.  Despite painful blisters from her new shoes, Bobbi crossed the finish line after three hours and twenty minutes, 124th in a field of over 400 racers.  The final page shows Bobbi leading other female runners across a field emblazoned with the names of other women winners of the Boston Marathon.  Includes an afterword and brief bibliography. 32 pages; grades K-4.

Pros:  Readers will be inspired by Bobbi’s hard work and perseverance in challenging the status quo and achieving her goal.  Unique mixed media collage illustrations often include place names to show the routes that Bobbi ran when she trained and in the marathon.

Cons:  A photo or two with the afterword would have been a nice addition.

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