Girl Running, BOBBI GIBB and the BOSTON MARATHON – Perfect Picture Book Friday

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The 122nd running of the Boston Marathon is on Monday, April 16, 2018, so I wanted to feature this tribute to BOBBI GIBB, on the pre-marathon weekend of festivities.

Title: Running Girl, BOBBI GIBB and the BOSTON MARATHON

Author:Annette Bay Pimentel

Illustrator: Micha Archer

 Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books, 2018

Ages: 5-8

Themes: gender stereotyping, Boston marathon, female runners, women’s history, sports, women’s history month

Genre: biography


Bobbi Gibb must wear a skirt to school because she is a girl.
She is not allowed to run on the school’s track team.
Because those are the rules–and rules are rules.

But after school…


Because Bobbi Gibb is a girl, she’s not allowed to run on her school’s track team. But after school, no one can stop her–and she’s free to run endless miles to her heart’s content. She is told no yet again when she tries to enter the Boston Marathon in 1966, because the officials claim that it’s a man’s race and that women are just not capable of running such a long distance. So what does Bobbi do? She bravely sets out to prove the naysayers wrong and show the world just what a girl can do.

Why I like this book:

It’s an inspirational story of the first woman to run the Boston Marathon. The story traces her training in inappropriate footwear and alone, but always with joy.

I love the timeline of the marathon with the elevation levels at the bottom of the pages, and the illustrations burst with her runners high, which as a marathoner, I totally get.

Perfect girl power book of perseverance to add to #Womenshistorymonth, a unit on the Olympics/marathons, or any unit trying to redress gender stereotyping.


The afterward fills in some of the timeline and and gives further information about women marathoners and their official access to races. Bobbi’s official recognition doesn’t come until 1992!A selected bibliography provides four suggestions: two websites and two books.

Marathon Facts for Kids

Maybe talk to your children about participating in local fun runs?

Each week a group of bloggers reviews picture books we feel would make great educational reads. To help teachers, caregivers and parents, we have included resources and/or activities with each of our reviews. A complete list of the thousands of books we have reviewed can be found sorted alphabetically and by topics, here on Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.


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7 Responses to Girl Running, BOBBI GIBB and the BOSTON MARATHON – Perfect Picture Book Friday

  1. I have to tell you that before I scrolled down to comment, I popped over to my library page to put a hold on this book. The illustration you included with the letter Bobbi Gibb receives hit hard. I haven’t read the book, and I’m already cheering for this remarkable woman.

  2. I saw this book at my local indie bookstore. It is really touching and amazing. Great nonfiction book.

  3. Andrea says:

    Perfect for spring running season!

  4. Such a perfect choice with the upcoming marathon! I love true stories. And, back in the late 60’s we weren’t allowed to wear pants, only dresses and skirts. So this book brings back many memories for me. Lovely choice!

  5. Great timing for this review – and an American woman won this year! Thanks for sharing this book.

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