Girl Running

illus. by Micha Archer. 32p. bibliog. Penguin/Nancy Paulsen Bks. Feb. 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781101996683.
Gr 2–4—Bobbi Gibb found joy in running before it was an activity women were encouraged or even allowed to participate in. Faced with enormous obstacles (including having available running gear), Gibb went on to become the first woman to complete the Boston Marathon, blazing the trail for thousands of women to come. The story does justice to Gibb's dream, although additional contextual details may have helped foster a richer understanding. For example, there is no mention of the year during which the story takes place (1966) until the book's afterword. Gibb's age is also unclear. On the very first page she is an adolescent, but the work soon transitions into her running across the country and entering the Boston Marathon as an adult without clear indication that many years have passed. The lush collage-style illustrations are a highlight, specifically the clever mile marker and elevation indicators which stretch across the pages as Gibb runs the race. The closing image nicely incorporates the names of other female marathoners as a tribute.
VERDICT An inspiring addition to picture book biography collections.

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