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The Quickest Kid in Clarksville

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  772 ratings  ·  154 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 u…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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Average rating 4.12  · 
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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!
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.
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.
Mary Ann
Fun read, with great rhythm to the language. Illustrations have great energy and kid appeal.
Abigail Brown
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Quickest Kid in Clarksville is a realistic fiction picture book that tells the story of a young girl named Alta, her two friends, and the new kid on the block Charmaine. This book takes place in 1960 in Clarksville, Tennessee. It tells the story of a young girl and her ability to run fast, just like African American sprinter Wilma Rudolph. It is a great story that touches on the many ideas of friendship, sportsmanship, perseverance, and dissimilarity. The artwork in this picture book is very ...more
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.
Jun 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-books
Sometimes my kids surprise me with the books they pick as their favorites. My 5 year old daughter loves this book and we’ve read it repeatedly. I feel like she grasped it all super well.... the themes of persistence and team work. She’s also a huge Wilma Rudolf fan now.
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.
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! :)
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.
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.
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
Allie Gearhart
Nov 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Book Level: 2.9

The Quickest Kid in Clarksville is about two young girls who come from very different socioeconomic backgrounds who both love to run. The two girls are very competitive, and must find a way to work together if they’re going to get the chance to meet their idol, Wilma Rudolph.

The story has many colorful pictures with few words on each page. These help the reader to form an image of what the story looks like, along with helping older readers gain context clues for unwritten informat
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.

Trinika Abraham
Dec 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Quickest Kid in Clarksville by Pat Zietlow Miller is a picture book which pays homage to the great Olympian, Wilma Rudolph.

Alta is a fierce little girl from the same town as Wilma Rudolph and she knows that she is the fastest kid in town until a new girl named Charmaine shows up on the block with a new pair of running shoes. Naturally, the competitiveness prompts a pair of race offs in which each girl claims success.

While Alta is not ready to admit that Charmaine might be as fast as her, the
Christine Turner
Booklist recommends this book for grades Grades K-2.
Lexile: 490 -- Historical fiction.

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 new shoes comes along and challenges A
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
Jasmine Woods
Mar 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
I would classify this book as a realistic fiction with a little bit of information. It tells the story of a young girl who inspires to be like Wilma Rudolph, a famous track Olympic medalist. She believes she's the quickest kid in Clarksville till she meets a neighbor who challenges her to a race. The main character loses her confidence because she doens't have the same nice shoes as the neighbor which causes her to lose the race. Though, by the end of the story the two girls come together to see ...more
Book Title: The Quickest Kid In Clarksville
Author: Pat Zietlow Millor
Reading Level: M
Book Level: 3.2

Book Summary: This book is about Alta, the quickest Kid in Clarksville, getting a chance to see Wilma Rudolph, Olympic Gold Medal Winner.

Writing Traits:
Organization-This book starts by introducing you to the character and her friends and builds to the parade and a getting chance to see their favorite runner. I would use this to show students writing a small moment story how they can talk about and
Katie Gharrity
Author: Pat Zietlow Miller
Illustrator: Frank Morrison
Reading Level: 2.9
Book Level: Lower Grades

Summary: Alta is the quickest kid in Clarksville just like Wilma Rudolph. But what happens when a new girl, with shiny new shoes shows up? Is Alta still the quickest?

Classroom use: In the classroom I would use this book to teach a lesson on sentence fluency and word choice work together to give the main character her voice. Students would be given post it notes while listening to the story read aloud.
Halie Korff
Mar 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
In the summer of 1960, Wilma Rudolph made history by winning three Olympic gold medals. Young girls everywhere were inspired to follow in her footsteps by trying to become the fastest runners. In Rudolph's hometown of Clarksville, Tennessee, everyone was excited because there was going to be a parade in her honor. Alta and Charmaine are two young girls that are both determined to be the fastest runners in town. Charmaine has fancy new sneakers that she is certain will help her run faster than ev ...more
Tabitha Broek
This book is about a girl who loves to run! She meets another girl who loves to run whose parents bought her brand-new shoes, so she thinks that she is faster than everyone else. The two girls race each other. Later in the day they get the opportunity to meet their hero and Olympic winner. They help each other run a banner to the street parade. This book is a really good example of two people coming together and working together to both get to meet their hero; someone they look up to. I think th ...more
As Clarksville prepares for an integrated parade celebrating the achievements of Wilma Rudolph, Alta races up and down the streets of her impoverished neighborhood dreaming of emulating her hero. When a new girl Charmaine approaches with her brand new sneakers and confident attitude, sparks fly between the girls, particularly after they each win a race against one another. As parade day dawns, the girls take a lesson from their heroine, Wilma Rudolph, as they relay race their banner to the parad ...more
Brittany Richard
Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Here’s the Hook:
Do you remember trying to be the fastest runner as a kid? The Quickest Kid in Clarksville is a children's book by Pat Zietlow Miller, inspired by Wilma Rudolph, the first woman in the United States to win three gold medals at the same at the Olympic Games. This children's book is beautifully illustrated and opens the eyes of children to show them that they can have determination in order to achieve their goals, no matter the struggles they face, or things that may get in their wa
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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

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