cover image Her Fearless Run: Kathrine Switzer’s Historic Boston Marathon

Her Fearless Run: Kathrine Switzer’s Historic Boston Marathon

Kim Chaffee, illus. by Ellen Rooney. Page Street Kids, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-62414-654-1

Kathrine Switzer turned heads when she ran—doing laps around her yard at a time when girls weren’t supposed to sweat, competing with the boys’ track team in college, and, in 1967, as the first woman to officially complete the Boston Marathon. Chaffee’s effective telling of Switzer’s iconic story emphasizes persistence, ambition, and discipline—the “pat, pat, pat, pat” of the runner’s tread is a repeated refrain—but centers on her love of the sport: “She thought running was magic.” When she completes the marathon, eluding an attack by a race official, she is asked why she did it, and says, “I like to run. Women deserve to run too.” In Rooney’s bright, straightforward illustrations, mixed media renders dramatic moments small (cutting sneakers to accommodate training-swollen toes) and large (the rage-twisted face of the race official), amplifying the empowering message. Ages 8–11. (Apr.)