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The Girl Who Ran: Bobbi Gibb, The First Woman to Run the Boston Marathon

Review

The Girl Who Ran: Bobbi Gibb, The First Woman to Run the Boston Marathon

You probably know that at one time women weren't allowed to vote. But did you know that at one time women weren't even allowed to run long-distance marathons? The reason? The promoters of the races thought women were too delicate and would not be able to run that far without hurting themselves.

But Bobbi Gibb loved to run. She spent her childhood running around the hills near her home. On a trip to Boston with her father, she watched runners competing in the Marathon. She decided she wanted to compete someday, too. When she got old enough, she started traveling around the country, running on all types of terrain in all types of weather, preparing herself for a long distance run.

"Authors Frances Poletti and Kristina Yee tell a good story....The illustrations by Susanna Chapman are expressive and add much to the text."

She "ran" into a problem when she sent in her application to participate in the Boston Marathon in1966, though. Her request was denied. Can you imagine that? I'm glad to say she didn't let that stop her. While her father refused to drive her to Boston, her mother agreed to do so. Bobbi Gibb disguised herself as a man and ran the marathon, all the way to the finish line.

Authors Frances Poletti and Kristina Yee tell a good story with a minimum of words as expected in a picture book. The illustrations by Susanna Chapman are expressive and add much to the text. A double-page fold-out near the end of the book dramatizes the moment when Gibb crossed the finish line at the Boston Marathon. A short bio of Bobbi Gibb and a timeline of events relating to marathons are included at the end of the book.

The authors also include some verse in the text. Normally, I like this as it breaks up the prose and poetry is something kids (and adults) like. In this case, I do like the idea of including the verse, but some of the rhyme scheme is off, making the rhyme jarring and not flowing the way it should.

However, I did enjoy reading this book and learning about Bobbi Gibb. I also enjoyed the format --- a picture book that kids can relate to. It's both a great story and a great bit of nonfiction.

Reviewed by on July 26, 2017

The Girl Who Ran: Bobbi Gibb, The First Woman to Run the Boston Marathon
by Kristina Yee and Frances Poletti