Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge

Alyson Beecher over at Kid Lit Frenzy hosts a Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge and has a roundup every Wednesday. I love the encouragement to explore more nonfiction. My plan is to read at least 100 nonfiction picture books this year. So far, I've read 67 this year.

Goodreads summary: It was 1904 and St. Louis was proud to host the World’s Fair and America’s First Olympics. Hundreds of thousands of people came by car, by train, by boat. Part of the Olympics was a wild, wacky marathon. Forty-two racers registered, thirty-two showed up, and of the three racers vying for the finish line: one drove part way, one was helped by his trainers over the line, and one was a postman who travelled from Cuba and ran in street clothes that he cut off to look like shorts. How they ran and who won is a story of twists and turns that wouldn’t be believed if it weren’t true! And it is! Find out who won in this picture book all about the historic Olympic Marathon of 1904.

My thoughts: I'm so excited to read a book about running. It isn't a very common topic in fiction or nonfiction picture books. McCarthy sure found a wonderful race to highlight. There are so many quirky things that happened in that Olympic race. For young runners, they may be amazed to see what the conditions were. Sometimes we even have a water stop in a race as short as 5K and these marathoners only had two water stops in the whole 24.85 miles. As someone who has raced in marathons, I found it fascinating. It also made me appreciate the conveniences we have now with people directing traffic away from us, fabulous GPS watches, nutrition and water support, and the list goes on.

This would be fun to pair with Marathon Mouse by Amy Dixon and illustrated by Sam Denlinger. That's the only other picture book I've read involving marathons.


  1. It was quite a race, I agree, Crystal. I love that authors are finding these stories and telling about them. I liked it very much. Thanks!

  2. Meghan McCarthy finds the most interesting topics to write about! She is an asset to NF PBs.