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Her Fearless Run: Kathrine Switzer’s Historic Boston Marathon
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Her Fearless Run: Kathrine Switzer’s Historic Boston Marathon

4.53  ·  Rating details ·  227 ratings  ·  63 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 4.53  · 
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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.
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
Carol Ekster
Aug 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Inspiring story. Wonderfully written. Great picture book biography!
Jan 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bio-strong-women
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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
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 ...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 ...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
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
Sue Doherty
I loved the illustrations for this book! It seems unbelievable that Switzer's run was so shocking in its day, but the illustrations really capture the way girls and women who wanted to compete in running (and other male-dominated sports) were regarded back then. The illustrator also perfectly captures a fierce look of determination on Switzer's face whenever she is doubted or challenged. The author did a good job of telling the story with just enough detail for younger readers.

May 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This picture books is a great way to learn about Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to run the Boston Marathon with a race number. Kathrine loved running from the time she was a girl and her determination carried her all the way to finish the Boston Marathon, against societal expectations. The illustrations are really well done. I enjoyed the author's note at the end which provided historical context. My daughter and I both enjoyed this book.
Rachel Green
Loved this accessible picture-book biography of Kathrine Switzer, the first women to run the Boston Marathon (with a bib). The collage illustrations were beautiful and complimented the text so well. I was also excited to find out that I ran my first marathon with the exact same time as Kathrine did! : ) Great author's note and bibliography in the back.
Apr 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A skillfully told tale of perseverance and inner (and outer) strength, HER FEARLESS RUN is an uplifting book that had me cheering from page one. The emotion-filled yet approachable illustrations complement the text beautifully, bringing an extra depth to the story. This book is perfect for the classroom and home and is sure to inspire kids (and adults) to go for what they want to accomplish.
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I like this book because it was about someone who ran 8 or 10 miles, maybe 18 mile and she won, and someone [spoiler alert] blocked her way; he wanted to get the numbers off of her because she was a girl, but that's not what I say: I run for justice!
Apr 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm not a runner. Never have been since I broke my foot and shifted my bones wrong in the 4th grade, so I had never heard of Kathrine Switzer. Now I'm interested to learn more! This book was beautifully illustrated and conveyed her story in a way that kids can understand, and adults can appreciate.
Loved reading this even more after finding out what happened with Bobbi Gibb; read Girl Running: Bobbi Gibb and the Boston Marathon by Annette Bay Pimentel for more understanding of women and the times and what they went through just to run!
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