Trudy’s Big Swim: How Gertrude Ederle Swam the English Channel and Took the World by Storm by Sue Macy, illustrated by Matt Collins


 Trudy’s Big Swim: How Gertrude Ederle Swam the English Channel and Took the World by Storm by Sue Macy, illustrated by Matt Collins. Holiday House, 2017.  9780823436651

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

What did you like about the book? Gertrude Ederle’s record making swim across the English Channel in August 1926 is the main event in this picture book biography. The author puts Ederle’s achievement in context, explaining the growth in female sports in the 1920’s and the rising popularity of long distance swimming as well as her Olympic triumphs. Reading about her Channel swim is suspenseful and exciting, with hazards like jellyfish, cold and fatigue competing with the dark of night to challenge her. In the end, Ederle is the first women ever to complete the Channel crossing, beating the closest record set by a man by almost two hours. The realistic pencil and digital illustrations complement the text. Back matter includes additional historical information, bibliography and notes. A timeline of  1920’s sports highlights spans the front and back end papers. A worthwhile purchase, and great for Women’s History displays.

Anything you didn’t like about it?

To whom would you recommend this book?  Put this out on display with biographies of other women athletes, dancers and artists.

Who should buy this book? Elementary school and public libraries

Where would you shelve it ? Biography

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Stephanie Tournas, Robbins Library, Arlington, MA

Date of review: March 8, 2017

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