Unbeatable Betty: Betty Robinson, the First Female Olympic Track & Field Gold Medalist

 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
223 0
Age Range
6+
Release Date
June 09, 2020
ISBN
978-0062896070
Buy This Book
      
With Joanie Stone's colorful illustrations and Allison Crotzer Kimmel's inspirational text, this biography is a reminder of how it takes more than sheer talent to be a champion; an unbeatable spirit of determination and hard work is also needed.

At only sixteen years old, Betty Robinson became the first female gold medalist in track and field in the 1928 Olympics and an overnight sensation. She was set for gold again and had her eyes on the 1932 Olympics.

Her plans changed forever when a horrible plane crash left her in a wheelchair, with one leg shorter than the other. But Betty didn't let that stop her. In less than five years, she relearned how to stand, to walk, and finally to run again and try to taste gold once more in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin.

Perfect for Women's History units, as well as for reports on lesser-known sports heroes, Unbeatable Betty includes an author’s note narrating Betty’s later life after her win, as well as a bibliography.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

See Betty Run
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)  
 
5.0
Learning Value 
 
5.0
Girls and women have run for a long time; even the author Louisa May Alcott made distance running part of her every day life. It wasn't until the 1920s, however, that woman athletes started to be able to compete on a wider scale. Young Betty Robinson was approached in 1928 by her high school track coach to run with the boys' team, since there were no teams for girls, and she was soon on the 1928 women's Olympic team! This was the first year that women were allowed to run, and Betty managed to edge out the favored runner, Fanny Rosenfeld, by .1 of a second in the 100 yard dash, making her the first woman to win an Olympic gold medal for running. She was all set to run in the 1932 Olympics as well, but was involved in a plane crash that shattered her leg. Told by the doctors to forget ever running again, she instead was only in a wheel chair for four months, although it took her two years to be able to run. Undeterred, she wanted to compete in the 1936 Olympics, but was limited by her injury. She switched to running relays, since the pin in her leg would not let her crouch down. Facing stiff competition from the German team, Betty was determined to win, and propelled her relay team to another gold medal.
Good Points
After reading Macy's Breaking Through: How Female Athletes Shattered Stereotypes in the Roaring Twenties, I was amazed at the number of unheralded female athletes from the first half of the 1900s there were! Robinson would have been a contemporary of the great Babe Didrickson Zaharias, who also went to the 1932 Olympics but only ran hurdles.

Robinson's story of overcoming adversity is one that just begs for a longer treatment, but for now, this picture book biography will have to do. Stone does a great job at recreating the styles and fashions of the time, although I would have liked to see more photographs. Some of these can be found at https://www.bettyrobinson.org/ The after note and sources help give a bigger picture of women track athletes for whom Robinson paved the way.

Use this book, along with Poletti and Yee's The Girl Who Ran: Bobbi Gibb, The First Woman to Run the Boston Marathon and Chaffee's Her Fearless Run (about Kathryn Switzer), to inspire the young runners in your life to sign up for a one miler or try a program like Girls on the Run.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
It's Avery's senior year in high school, and she has...
Peppermint Post
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
'Twas the night before Christmas, when the North Pole's Peppermint...
Stolen from the Studio (Case Closed, #2)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Lauren Magaziner’s hilarious and high-stakes middle grade series gets a...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
What's outside Pleasant Grove? Welcome to Pleasant...
The Wizenard Series: Season One
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Reggie has never felt destined for greatness. He dreams about...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
He’s a rebel with a cause… to make my...
TURBO Racers: Escape Velocity
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Fast and the Furious meets Transformers in the second...
Bread Lab!
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
It’s a sleepy Saturday morning for most people, but not...
A Thousand No's
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
This empowering picture book teaches readers that even great ideas...
Ronan Boyle and the Swamp of Certain Death (Ronan Boyle, #2)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The hilarious sequel to the instant New York Times bestseller,...
Sharko and Hippo
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
With tongue-twisty wordplay and escalating absurdity, this is a fall-down-funny...
The Thing About Bees: A Love Letter
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A LOVE POEM FROM A FATHER TO HIS TWO SONS,...
The Faithless Hawk (The Merciful Crow, #2)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Kings become outcasts and lovers become foes in The Faithless...
Zora's Zucchini
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The first zucchini of a summer garden is always exciting,...
Libby Loves Science
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Libby loves science! In this STEM-themed picture book, a companion...
The Hidden Rainbow
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
All the colors of the rainbow are hidden in the...

Latest Member Reviews

Peppermint Post
 
5.0
"PEPPERMINT POST is an adorable new story about Christmas and Santa. The Peppermint Post is the busiest post office in..."
Stolen from the Studio (Case Closed, #2)
 
4.0
"STOLEN FROM THE STUDIO is a fun middle grade mystery with a choose-your-own-adventure plot. Carlos travels with his mother, a..."
The Wizenard Series: Season One
 
4.0
"THE WIZENARD SERIES: SEASON ONE is written by Wesley King and created by Kobe Bryant. The MG fantasy follows Reggie,..."
The Triumphant Tale of Pippa North
 
4.0
"THE TRIUMPHANT TALE OF PIPPA NORTH combines magic and humor in a middle grade fantasy full of charm. Pippa is..."
TURBO Racers: Escape Velocity
 
4.0
"TURBO RACERS: ESCAPE VELOCITY is a fast-paced, high-stakes adventure. Mace Blazer is a TURBOnaut, a high-speed vehicle racer. He recently..."
Bread Lab!
 
4.0
"BREAD LAB! is a cute picture book that walks through the steps of making sourdough bread through the eyes of..."
A Thousand No's
 
3.5
"A THOUSAND NO'S is a cute picture book about the way that feedback can change an idea. A girl has..."
Ronan Boyle and the Swamp of Certain Death (Ronan Boyle, #2)
 
4.0
"RONAN BOYLE AND THE SWAMP OF CERTAIN DEATH is a comedic middle grade fantasy that features a young boy on..."
Sharko and Hippo
 
4.5
"SHARKO AND HIPPO is a clever and comical book about two best friends who are going fishing for the day...."
Zora's Zucchini
 
5.0
"ZORA'S ZUCCHINI is a delightful picture book that explores growing vegetables and sharing with neighbors. Zora is a little bored..."
Libby Loves Science
 
4.5
"LIBBY LOVES SCIENCE is a cute picture book that brings a love of science to all the fun of ice..."
The Hidden Rainbow
 
5.0
"THE HIDDEN RAINBOW is a delightful picture book that combines counting, colors, and nature in a beautiful exploration. Each page..."
The Places We Sleep
 
5.0
"THE PLACES WE SLEEP is a moving middle grade historical that takes place around 9/11. The book is written entirely..."
Paola Santiago and the River of Tears
 
3.0
"Paola “Pao” Santiago loves science and hanging out with her best friends, Emma and Dante. She doesn’t love how superstitious..."
Kamala and Maya's Big Idea
 
5.0
"KAMALA AND MAYA'S BIG IDEA is a picture book based on a true story about pursuing your goals and doing..."
Harvey Holds His Own (The Harvey Stories, #2)
 
4.0
"HARVEY HOLDS HIS OWN is a contemporary middle grade told from three perspectives: Maggie, Harvey, and Austin. Maggie is starting..."
Ghost Boys
 
5.0
"Jewell Parker Rhodes writes electrifying middle grade stories that pack emotion into every sentence, and GHOST BOYS showcases that skill..."
And Then I Turned into a Mermaid (And Then I Turned into a Mermaid, #1)
 
4.0
"AND THEN I TURNED INTO A MERMAID is a cute and funny middle grade fantasy that follows Molly. Molly is..."
After the Worst Thing Happens
 
5.0
"AFTER THE WORST THING HAPPENS is a compelling middle grade about dealing with death and loss. Army Morand absolutely adores..."
Sheep Dog and Sheep Sheep: Baaad Hair Day
 
4.0
"SHEEP DOG AND SHEEP SHEEP: BAAAD HAIR DAY is a comical picture book about haircuts. Sheep has lovely curls that..."