Her Fearless Run

If you’re a kidlit writer and aren’t familiar with KidLit 411, you need to check out their website. It’s hands-down the site with the most and best info on a plethora of topics for writers. There’s a FaceBook group, too. And a bonus to all this goodness  – lots of giveaways! I recently got lucky. Here’s a fabulous picture book I‘m excited to share.  

fullsizeoutput-2d56 Title: Her Fearless Run, Katherine Switzer’s Historic Boston Marathon

Written by: Kim Chaffee

Illustrated by: Ellen Rooney

Page Street Kids, 2019

Suitable for ages: 8-12

Themes/topics: women in sports, marathons, perseverance


Pat, Pat, Pat.

The summer sun beat down on twelve-year-old Kathrine. She held out her piece of chalk and marked the tree as she ran past again. Two laps to go. Kathrine dripped with sweat. Her legs felt like noodles, but she kept running.

One lap to go…just a few more feet…a few steps…1 MILE!


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. Her inspirational true story is for anyone willing to challenge the rules.

The compelling collage art adds to the kinetic action of the story. With tension and heart, this biography has the influential power to get readers into running. An excellent choice for sports fans, New Englanders, young dreamers, and competitive girls and boys alike.

Activities and Resources:

Compare and contrast this book with one of the new picture book biographies of Bobbi Gibb: The Girl Who Ran by Yee or Girl Running by Pimentel.

Graphing Goals: What is one of your athletic goals? Running faster? More sit ups? Free throw success? Set your goal. What are the steps you need to take to get there? Record your progress and make a graph to show it.

Why I like this book:

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.

Author Kim Chaffee’s website

Visit author Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Books for a plethora of picture books listed by title and topic/theme, each with teacher/parent activities and resources.

Visit the Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge on Kid Lit Frenzy on Wednesdays for more great nonfiction books for kids!

5 thoughts on “Her Fearless Run

  1. This one has already found its way to my TBR list. I think it was via Matthew Winner, who was lauding this story. In any case, I can’t wait to read it, AND send it to some of my marathoning mom friends. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

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