Fearless: The Story of Racing Legend Louise Smith

Barb Rosenstock, illus. by Scott Dawson, Dutton, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-525-42173-3
Louise Smith never played by the rules, first getting behind the wheel of a car when she was a free-spirited seven-year-old. Her love for driving doesn't stop there, and when, years later, a race promoter is looking for a girl to drive in a race—as a joke—Louise steps up. She places third and starts regularly competing in races (frequently getting into wrecks), but winning 38 times. Dawson's gorgeous, light-infused acrylics convey Louise's self-assured nature, while race scenes capture the rush of adrenaline in a blur of glinting metal. Rosenstock's upbeat prose finishes on a high note, with aging Louise flying down a country road: "Yep, the old lady could still drive fast enough to go anywhere she wanted." This debut for both author and illustrator is a winner. Ages 5–up. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/11/2010
Release date: 10/01/2010
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