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Her Fearless Run: Kathrine Switzer’s Historic Boston Marathon

4.50  ·  Rating details ·  328 ratings  ·  86 reviews
Kathrine Switzer changed the world of running. This narrative biography follows Kathrine from running laps as a girl in her backyard to becoming the first woman to run the Boston Marathon with official race numbers in 1967.
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published April 2nd 2019 by Page Street Kids
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Average rating 4.50  · 
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Rebecca M
Aug 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic children's biography about the first woman to race the Boston Marathon. Chaffee's writing is smooth and accessible for kids and Rooney's illustrations are beautiful, the coloring flawless. Definitely recommend this one for a library read aloud or a personal collection. ...more
Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a gorgeous book and just in time for the next Boston Marathon. The vibrant illustrations pop off the page and the story is very well paced and written. Children of all ages will enjoy and be inspired by this strong and determined female runner who opened the gates for all future women to follow in her footsteps.
I remember seeing the iconic photos of race officials in the 1967 Boston marathon trying to stop Kathrine Switzer and pull her numbers off. Obviously I thought that was ridiculous, but not having read the full story, I also assumed that it had been against the rules for a woman to run. Turns out, nope! Kathrine was well within her rights to run that day. Kudos to the men running near her who helped plow the race official off of the course and allowed her to keep going.

This is a really, really ex
Carol Ekster
Aug 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Inspiring story. Wonderfully written. Great picture book biography!
“Girls weren’t supposed to sweat. Girls weren’t supposed to compete. They were too weak, too fragile, for sports. That’s what most people thought.
But not Kathrine.” (page 3)

Sweat. Compete. Not too weak. Not too fragile for sports. Kathrine Switzer would change most people’s thoughts on this as she determinedly pursued her right to run – in school, in college, in the 1967 Boston Marathon (when they tried to throw her out of the race) and beyond.

Chaffee’s text would read aloud easily and Rooney’s
Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This inspirational true story about Kathrine Switzer is exceptionally well written and bursting with heart. It's a perfect pairing of story, style, and gorgeous illustrations, with a real life character kids will care about and a rewarding finish sure to inspire boys and girls alike, even those who aren't familiar with Switzer's story. ...more
Kirsti Call
May 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the the most powerful and moving picture book biographies that I've ever read. LOVE the way Kim Chaffee paints the picture of Katherine Switzer's dream to run the Boston Marathon. ...more
Viviane Elbee
Great story about Kathrine Switzer, first woman to run the Boston Marathon. Kids and I enjoyed it. This is a slightly longer length (text-wise) so it's better suited for elementary students. ...more
Feb 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Interest Level: 3-6; Reading Level: 3.6

Imagine there is something that you love to do but people tell you that you can't do it just because you are a girl. We know that's not fair, but back in the day that is how things were. Katherine loved to run but in the 1960's women did not run and they sure didn't sweat. People would ask her if she was in trouble when she ran. When she went to college there were no women's track teams. She was allowed to train with the guys but she was not allowed to comp
Jenna Grodzicki
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Her Fearless Run tells the story of Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to officially run the Boston Marathon. Kathrine loved to run, even though most people of her time believed women were incapable of long distance running. Young readers will be inspired to follow their dreams after reading Kathrine's story. Ellen Rooney's gorgeous illustrations complement the text perfectly. A must have for any classroom or library. ...more
Cathy Breisacher
Mar 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was really intrigued by this story of Kathrine Switzer's determination to run during a time period when women did not run in races. I'm so inspired by her drive and commitment to train for the Boston Marathon, and I was equally impressed when I read how she persevered when men were trying to dissuade her from competing and finishing. Bravo to Kim Chaffee. This book will interest many readers for sure! ...more
Cried. A was also focused while reading this multiple times, but seemed primarily concerned with finding the hero’s ponytail?
Carol Baldwin
Ever since she was a young girl, Kathrine Switzer loved to run. As a twelve-year-old, she would mark her laps with a piece of chalk on a tree along her route.

The mailman stared. The milkman asked if she was okay. Because in 1959, it was strange to see a girl running.

"Girls weren't supposed to sweat. Girls weren't supposed to complete. They were too weak, too fragile, for sports. That's what most people thought.
But not Kathrine."

Kathrine loved running so much that when she went to college and di
Jun 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I could almost feel the pavement under my feet. Kathrine's determination was so eloquently portrayed and the use of pat pat pat throughout to gather momentum was beautiful. A lovely depiction of a trailblazing woman who followed her heart despite the limitations placed on women at the time. An important story which shows change happens one brave step at a time. ...more
Oct 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: cybils-2019
Picture book biography on Katherine Switzer and her love/passion for running that led her to challenge not just herself but also those around her to compete in the Boston Marathon.
Katherine competed in the 1967 race and successfully finished the race. There were those who tried to stop her, some blocker her way, others frowned on woman running and "sweating". But nothing would stop Katherine; while she faced skeptics, there were others who encouraged, stood by her side and helped her finish.
A w
Beth Anderson
May 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
For a bio on a runner, a marathoner, the pacing of the text is crucial. It has to be steady, strong, and go the distance. The author uses several very effective techniques to allow the reader to feel the Switzer’s push and her ability to keep increasing the distance. The illustrations are vibrant and strong as well, conveying her joy and determination. What a great example for kids of how some people persevere just for the pure exhilaration of challenging oneself.
Lindsay Leslie
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
First of all, this non-fiction picture book makes me want to go for a run ... like right now. How inspirational! I did not know the story of Kathrine Switzer, but I'm glad I do now, and I know children will appreciate Kathrine's barrier-busting moxie. Great back matter and I adore the gorgeous, emotion-evoking illustrations by Ellen Rooney! ...more
Feb 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
HER FEARLESS RUN is beautifully and thoughtfully written by debut author Kim Chaffee with gorgeous illustrations by Ellen Rooney that are so well suited to the story. Well paced, (no pun intended) it explains this non fiction story about a woman making her mark in an all male world. Excellent back matter round off this biography. Brava!
Sandra Sutter
May 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a "must-have" book in all homes with parents or caregivers who want to show children that all things are possible with the right attitude, perseverance, and support. It is well-written and beautifully illustrated - telling and showing a remarkable story about a remarkable woman! ...more
Sarah Nelson
Aug 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An inspiring and visually beautiful book about Kathrine Switzer, first official female athlete in the Boston marathon.
Mar 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: t, 2020t
Mom's Review
I had been so excited to read Her Fearless Run with the group – it takes place in Boston and is about running. Boston's not too far away from us, and when these kids get together they run, run, run. I thought after reading it, we'd head out back and have our own races, but I have no craft to suggest (I had no ideas and had enlisted another parent's help, but cancelled before we got that far). Plus, it's March, Women's History Month, so all the more reason to seek it out now.

Her Fearl
This one was a 3.5 for me, simply because I wanted more. Having read two picture books about Bobbi Gibb, the woman who ran the Boston Marathon unofficially in 1966, I was eager to read this one as soon as I saw it. After all, who doesn't love books about groundbreaking individuals? The fact that the subject of the book, Kathrine Switzer, simply loved to run and wasn't necessarily trying to change the world had some appeal as well since sometimes change comes in different forms and through differ ...more
Christina Carter
Jul 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The prevailing thought of the day said that girls were too fragile for sports. In which case, competing in an athletic competition would have been simply inconceivable but Katherine Switzer knew better and did not impose such limitations on herself. She was a runner and would prove time and again just what she was capable of. Katherine believed in herself, even in the face of doubters. "She believed she could run any distance if she trained for it," and that's exactly what she did until she was ...more
Ben Truong
Her Fearless Run: Kathrine Switzer's Historic Boston Marathon is a biographical children's picture book written by Kim Chaffee and illustrated by Ellen Rooney. It is centered on Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to run the Boston Marathon as an officially registered runner.

Kathrine Virginia Switzer is an American marathon runner, author, and television commentator. In 1967, she became the first woman to run the Boston Marathon as an officially registered competitor.

Chaffee's text is rather simpl
Zohar Berkovich
"Her Fearless Run Kathrine Switzer’s Historic Boston Marathon," tells the life story of Kathrine Switzer and her love for running starting at a young age. As a young girl, Kathrine ran in her school track team which was unknown at the time. during her college career, she was allowed to run with the boys' track team. As she talked to the coach he told her about the Boston Marathon which is 26 miles long. The coach told her that no woman has ever done that before and that only men were allowed to ...more
TammyJo Eckhart
May 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
I had heard of Kathrine Switzer before and with Title IX under attack these days I thought this would be a good book to read to my little one as a reminder of how tough things used to be (and could become again). We loved the drawing and colors of the images; there was plenty to look at and talk about. Even the text was laid out artistically to give a sense of intensity that helped me figure out how to read it aloud better. I liked how the facts were set out and balanced with describing the emot ...more
Brenda Kahn
Historic firsts, an interesting concept. I'm glad the description included the qualifier, "to run with numbers" because she was not the first woman to run the Boston marathon. Kudos to the author for including Bobbi Gibbs' feat a year earlier in the back matter. Gibb also ran in 1967 and her time was faster than Switzer's. Other women ran unofficially as well. Gibb ran the following year too. She was named the women's winner for those three years when the Boston Athletic Association finally ackn ...more
Stephanie Ward
Jun 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'll admit it. I will never utter Kathrine Switzer's simple words: "I like to run." But I do like this book!
It's an amazing story of perserverance, passion and breaking down barriers.

This fascinating, well-researched, non-fiction picture book tells the tale of the first woman to officially run the Boston Marathon. Kathrine was born a runner, but had to fight for every opportunity to do so at a time when running wasn't "fitting for women".

Along with colorful and emotive illustrations, I also en
May 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
" In 1967, women weren't supposed to compete in races like the Boston Marathon. But Katherine Switzer didn't let that stop her."

This picture book biography for children tells the story of Katherine Switzer, the first Woman to run in the Boston Marathon when women were't known for running at all or for allowing people to see them physically sweat. I did not know it was a big deal for a Woman to run a marathon back in the 60's but I have to remind myself it was a different era where women's choic
Melanie Dulaney
Apr 28, 2021 rated it really liked it
Kim Chaffee’s non-fiction picture book relays the story of Kathrine Switzer’s love of running when women were discouraged from participating in most sports, and her successful run of the Boston Marathan, the first woman to officially compete in that notable event. Illustrations by Ellen Rooney beautifully augment the text with bursts of color all over every page. Libraries serving students in grades 1-5 would benefit from having this biography in their collection. Teachers could use it as a ment ...more
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