Reviews for Amazing Olympic Athlete Wilma Rudolph


Booklist Reviews 2009 September #1
Talk about a rags-to-riches story. Not only did Rudolph come from a poor African American background, but at six years old she also had polio that left one leg and foot crooked. But by high school she was a basketball star and runner in the Olympics. Her track coach got her a college scholarship, and in the 1960 Olympics, even though she hurt her ankle, she set a record, and won three gold medals. After she finished college she became a teacher and coach of young people, married, and had four children. Part of the Amazing Americans series, the book features a design that is clear and inviting with a full-page photo on every double-page spread. Back matter includes a time line, glossary, bibliography, and a "Something to think about," page, with dynamic quotes from Rudolph, including "Triumph can't be had without the struggle." Copyright 2009 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2010 Spring
The easy-to-read text of this sketchy biography touches on a few important moments in the life of one of America's most decorated female athletes. Rudolph's Olympic accomplishments are noted, as well as her personal triumph in overcoming the effects of childhood polio. Photographs of Rudolph as a young girl and later as an Olympian appear opposite the text in most spreads. Reading list, timeline, websites. Glos., ind. Copyright 2010 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2010 February

Gr 1-2--Is it possible to condense the life of any person into approximately 40 sentences? That is what Wade attempts to do in these early-reader biographies. The language is simple, both in sentence structure and vocabulary. With this kind of brevity, oversimplification is inescapable. For example, in Rachel Carson, Wade states that Carson wrote about the environment and that, "No one had ever written about this before." Of course, people like John Muir were writing about it years before Carson. Despite this problem, Wade does a decent job of introducing the salient points of these subjects' lives. Each book has elements of a standard report biography: thought questions, a time line, glossary, further reading, and an index. Though some of these features seem ludicrous for such short books, they allow young students to become familiar with common study aides. Photographs and historical paintings are set against starburst- patterned backgrounds. The bright backgrounds are a little distracting but add color and continuity. Comparable in content and more colorful than "Rookie Biographies" (Children's Press), these are fair nonfiction choices to have in a primary-grade reading corner or to use with slightly older ESL students.--Donna Cardon, Provo City Library, UT

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