Daughter of the Light-Footed People: The Story of Indigenous Marathon Champion Lorena Ramírez

S. & S./Atheneum. Jun. 2024. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781665931427.
Gr 1-4–This is a striking introduction to ultramarathon runner, Lorena Ramírez, who belongs to the Indigenous Rarámuri people of Mexico. The book follows Ramírez as she runs 60 miles, all while wearing the traditional shoes and clothing of her people. As she runs, readers gain insight into her rural upbringing and lifestyle, as well as the intense physical demands of the race. Peppered with figurative language, the spare text is lyrical, at times echoing the rhythm of Ramírez’s steadfast footsteps. The digital illustrations are rich, evocative, and thoughtful in composition; the art beautifully blends present and past and gives readers a view of the race from a variety of perspectives—from her white rubber shoes to the clouds and birds soaring above her. Vibrant florals illuminate Ramírez’s strength and persistence and add movement throughout the story. An author’s note at the end expands on Ramírez’s achievements, her community, and her pride in her heritage. Runners are depicted in a variety of skin tones.
VERDICT An exceptional addition to all collections.

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