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The Quickest Kid in Clarksville
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The Quickest Kid in Clarksville

4.1  ·  Rating details ·  579 Ratings  ·  122 Reviews
It's the day before the big parade. Alta can only think about one thing: Wilma Rudolph, three-time Olympic gold medalist. She'll be riding on a float tomorrow. See, Alta is the quickest kid in Clarksville, Tennessee, just like Wilma once was. It doesn't matter that Alta's shoes have holes because Wilma came from hard times, too. But what happens when a new girl with shiny ...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published February 9th 2016 by Chronicle Books (first published January 26th 2016)
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Emily No, although Wilma's is briefly mentioned in the story and greater expanded upon in the Author's Note at the back. Alta's family is lower income and…moreNo, although Wilma's is briefly mentioned in the story and greater expanded upon in the Author's Note at the back. Alta's family is lower income and unable to provide brand new shoes like Charmaine's can.(less)

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Mar 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
We are using "Quickest Kid" for our March Madness in 4th grade. My older students love this time of the year when we can focus on picture books that are sure to leave an impression on them. How do I know when a picture book is powerful? When it causes my students to inquire further about a "real life" person who was mentioned often in the book. "Wil-ma Ru-dolph!" My Wilma Rudolph books flew off the shelves after reading this one!
Scottsdale Public Library
Simply wonderful. Story is beautifully written, powerful yet real, and links effortlessly to non-fiction. Love the interactions and messages of friendship and looking to your heroes for inspiration. Be prepared to check out a biography on Wilma Rudolph to go with it! -- Alexis S.
Mississippi Library Commission
Get ready to be inspired! As surely as Alta and her friends draw inspiration from Olympic runner Wilma Rudolph, your K-2 readers will draw inspiration from them. We loved this story about winning, losing, and friendship.
Mary Ann
Fun read, with great rhythm to the language. Illustrations have great energy and kid appeal.
The Reading Countess
At the beginning of the year, we found on biography, autobiography and memoir. To make their summer reading come to life/reinforce learning we read a few of those kinds of genres in our lit. book(that's literature book for those of you thinking I meant, "lit" as in, "biographies are LIT!" I especially liked the afterword about Wilma's life. Highly recommended! #teacher #reader #reading #biography #picturebooks #biography
Although her shoes aren't in the best shape, Alta is proud of being fast. In fact, she considers herself the quickest kid in her hometown. That is until she meets that strutting Charmaine with her brand-new shoes. When the two girls race, Alta keeps beating her rival until her shoes cause her to fall. As it turns out, they have a lot in common as they realize when they meet each other on the way to a parade celebrating their idol, someone who herself was once the fastest girl in Clarksville, Ten ...more
Ms. Yingling
Jan 24, 2016 rated it liked it
Copy received from the publisher

Alta is looking forward to seeing her idol, Wilma Rudolph, in a parade in her hometown of Clarksville, Tennessee. Alta is a runner herself, and when she meets Charmaine, she starts to doubt herself. Not only is Charmaine a fast runner as well, but she has new tennis shoes, while Alta's are worn out. Alta thinks about the challenges that Wilma faced on her way to the Olympics, and doesn't let Charmaine's superior attitude get to her. When the girls need to work tog
Patty Mccormick
Feb 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
I was very excited to win this book in a Goodreads giveaway. It is 1961, and the town of Clarksville, Tennessee is having a parade to honor hometown girl Wilma Rudolph, who won several Olympic gold meadows in track and field. She was dubbed "the fastest woman in the world". Alta, a little girl in the town, is excited to meet her idol. She is the fastest runner in town, even though her sneakers are old and have holes in them. But, a new girl arrives in town with her shiny, new sneakers and she is ...more
Juliana Lee
Fictional story about four girls who admire Wilma Rudolph. Alta thinks she's the quickest kid in town but when Charmaine sashays down the street in her brand new running shoes she has second thoughts. Her mama tells her she just has to make do with her old shoes. Alta and her sisters make a huge banner for the parade. Running to the center of town with the banner, Alta feels Charmaine coming up behind her. Charmaine convinces her to take turns carrying the banner just like Wilma did in the 4x100 ...more
Sandy Brehl
As a long-time fan of Wilma Rudolph, particularly the book WILMA UNLIMITED, I welcomed this addition to the story of her life. After winning fame in the Olympics Wilma quietly continued to wield influence in many lives, lifting hopes and possibilities by her examples and leadership.
This story plays out in the credible characters and their own ambitions: kids who looked up to Wilma for inspiration, and found it within themselves to be their best. Individually and cooperatively.
Great story that touches on themes of friendship, perseverance, ambition, and sportsmanship. I loved how sassy the two main girls are. The illustrations and text really brought them to life.
May 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Good story about learning to work together, with the added benefit of learning a little bit of history about Wilma Rudolph.
Emily Scheinman
This is a fun read
Sarah Levy
Sep 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"My sneakers slap a sidewalk beat. Wil-am Ru-dolph. Wil-ma Ru-dolph."

Loved this story! Can't wait to share it with students. Especially with the summer olympics just passed.
Jasmine Olivia
Sep 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Awesome book! The only thing I didn't like is the SMALL PRINT. I think that was a bad idea but I still wanted to give this book 5 stars! :)
Ansley Phillips
Feb 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Summary: This story is about a girl who is known as the quickest runner in all of Clarksville. Her idol is Wilma Rudolph, an Olympic medalist also from Clarksville. Although her shoes have holes in them, she is still proud to hold the title as fastest runner. One day a girl by the name of Charmaine shows up in Clarksville. Charmaine had nice shoes and she claimed to be a faster runner. The two girls raced in order to determine the quickest runner in Clarksville. While the girls originally fought ...more
Two girls, at first rivals, but then they bond over something they both love.

I had already heard of this book before but never had the luck to read it. Until today! And I have to say it was a really fun book to read. I never heard of Wilma Rudolph, but then again I am not a big sports watching fan, nor do I care much about sports (as in knowing all the athletes and such). But thanks to this book I know now who she is as our little MC tells us all about her, and we get a fact sheet with more info
Cindy Hudson
Jun 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Alta runs fast, just like her idol Wilma Rudolph, an African American sprinter who grew up in Alta’s hometown of Clarksville, Tennessee, and won three Olympic gold medals. But when a new girl named Charmaine with fancy running shoes moves to town, Alta wonders if her own holey-sole shoes will be her downfall. The two compete to see who can run fastest and end up mad at each other.

The girls make up and become friends when they have to work together to carry a banner to a parade to honor Wilma.

Kendra Simpson
Feb 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
This story demonstrates a perfect example of "judging a book by its cover". Alta and Charmaine are 2 girls from Clarksville, TN that share the same passion, African-American Olympic sprinter Wilma Rudolph, but don't quite get along at first. One day, Charmaine sees her neighbor struggling and, looking over their differences, seeks out to help her. The author of this book, Pat Zietlow Miller, well-constructed a story of two unlikely friends working together because of something they love and crea ...more
Ms. B
Jul 31, 2018 rated it liked it
Alta is a runner who is growing up in Clarksville, Tennesee in the 1960s. She aspires to be like her idol Wilma Rudolph an Olympic Track and Field star who is also from Clarksville. In this story, she challenges new kid Charmaine to race her. In the end, she discovers that there's more to life than being the fastest. Making new friends is important, too.
Reading parts of the Author's Note and talking about the Olympics will give students the background knowledge they need to fully enjoy this stor
Mar 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: children-s
It was okay. Alta wants to run like Wilma Rudolph, but she runs into Charmaine - who has fancy new shoes. Alta's family can't afford new shoes for Alta and she and Charmaine become rivals until the day of the parade to honor Wilma Rudolph. Somehow the girls get over their rivalry in trying to get the banner to the parade. Meh.
Nice illustrations. Information on Wilma Rudolph at the back and about segregation, a more interesting story.
Sep 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Several girls prepare to see their running hero: Wilma Rudolph, three-time Olympic gold medalist. There is competition between two of the girls over who is fastest which is made worse by their economic differences. Still, in order to see Wilma they must work together to get to the parade in time with their banner. I liked that they ended up working together because I hate the trope that girls can't get along with each other or are "mean girls".
Kayla Osborne
Oct 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was a great read! It demonstrates girl issues and girl power! It presents an interesting storyline and great resolution. This book demonstrates the importance of females building positive relationships for the accomplishment of different goals. The author is a white female; however, she still gives a clear, honest description of the experience of some females through black culture.
Aug 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Alta knows without a doubt that she's the fastest kid in her neighborhood. She gets challenged by the new girl, who has fancy sneakers and thinks she's the next Wilma Rudolph. The two girls will have to work together to get to Wilma Rudolph's parade on time. Good story about tenacity, and the benefits of cooperation.
Eileen Carter
Jul 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Who is faster? Do fancy shoes make you faster? That is what one young girl is thinking as she waits to meet Wilma a 3 time medalist. This story looks at a young girl who wants to be just like Wilma Rudolph. She thinks she is the fastest, but when she races against another child with fancy shoes and loses she is not sure. Will she gain her confidence?
Jan 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I would call this book historical fiction, and would use it to introduce students to Wilma Rudolph. There are many biographies for youngsters, but this one will catch their attention with its sassy attitude and quick-moving story.
The full-color illustrations portray the emotions and motions of these fast runners, as well as the neighborhood in which they live.
Melinda Bender
Jun 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Inspiring story of working hard for what you want. Young Wilma Rudolph fans hoping to grow up to be just like Wilma and realizing that it takes more then just attitude to succeed. A perfect book to read during Black history month to young students to show that if you are determined you can achieve your dreams.
Lynn  Davidson
Sep 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a fun story about children competing and trying to best one another, then finding a way to cooperate and work together. The girls in this story want to be like Wilma Rudolph, the fastest woman runner in the world. Fabulous illustrations.
Jan 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Great picture book about some young girls who are huge fans of Wilma Rudolph. Wonderful rhythm and illustrations, and my 5-year old son was absolutely thrilled to find out, in the endnotes, that Wilma Rudolph is a real person who really was that fast.
Aug 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017, juv, 4storytime
Read this at the SWON Picture Book Read-In.

Gives history about Wilma Rudolph in the back. There is so much attitude in the illustrations, I love it. This book is about over coming jealousy and making friends.
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Pat Zietlow Miller knew she wanted to be a writer ever since her seventh-grade English teacher read her paper about square-dancing skirts out loud in class and said: “This is the first time anything a student has written has given me chills.” (Thanks, Mrs. Mueller! You rock!)

Pat started out as a newspaper reporter and wrote about everything from dartball and deer-hunting to diets and decoupage. Th