America’s Champion Swimmer : Gertrude Ederleby David A. Adler (Author), Terry Widener (Illustrator)
A story about determination
Trudy learned to swim after a nearly fatal incident when she fell into a pond and nearly drowned. Her father taught her to swim and she soon mastered the dog paddle. Soon she had mastered more advanced strokes. She LOVED to swim
By age 15, she had won her first big race. And a year later, Trudy became the first woman ever to swim 17 miles from Lower Manhattan to Sandy Hook in New Jersey. Not only that, she had beat the men’s record for the same swim!
By 1925, Trudy had accumulated 29 US and World records. She now set her sights on the ULTIMATE challenge – swimming the English Channel. The English Channel was tough! With choppy, cold waters spreading out across 20 miles from England to France, only a handful of men had ever accomplished this. And when people learned about Trudy’s ambitious goal, they laughed at the idea of a “weaker sex” even dreaming up of such a task.
So on Aug 18, 1925, Trudy stepped into the cold waters of the Channel and fought the strong currents for almost 7 hours. She was less than 7 miles to shore before her trainer pulled her out fearing she had swallowed too much water. But Trudy did not give up! She tried again next year.
This time Trudy was prepared for the cold waters. Coated with lanolin and heavy grease and equipped with special swim goggles, Trudy stepped into the Channel once more. In the calm ocean waters, Trudy swam on at a rapid pace. But around 1:30 in the afternoon, it started to rain. The rain turned into a strong wind. The waters grew choppy and within a short hours Trudy was swimming against 20 feet high waves!
Her trainer yelled for her to give up. Her father and sister worried about her being all alone in the waters. Would she be able to finish? Will she have to give up on her dream?
“America’s Champion Swimmer ” is an in depth account of Gertrude Ederle’s life and accomplishments. Trudy’s story will appeal to little girls and boys who enjoy swimming as a sport. As we read through the events of the Channel swim specifically, we found ourselves wanting to look ahead to see what happened to Trudy next! David Adler does a superb job of making this story an exciting page turner! The illustrations show vividly her struggle in the Channel waters. The turbulent dark skies and choppy waves and the almost vanishing Gertrude have been captured beautifully by Terry Widener in his impressionist styled paintings. An inspiring read-aloud!
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