I invited Ms. Krull to visit our school because I wanted to highlight nonfiction this year, and her books are examples of compelling and engaging biographies and stories from history.
Wilma Unlimited: The Fastest Woman in the World, by Kathleen Krull, illustrated by Leo Diaz
No one expected Wilma Rudolph to become a world-famous runner because she was born underweight and sickly. She contracted polio at a young age and spent her childhood with one leg in a steel brace.
The tension of her Olympic performances is gripping: she runs with a twisted ankle, knowing that her competitors have earned faster qualifying times than hers. But something clicks for her, and she blows away the rest of the field.
I have read this in many story time sessions, and it never fails to hold the audience's interest. The large graphic-style pictures on one side of the page match well with the text, told with all the drama of Wilma's real-life struggle.
Wilma Rudolph video clips:
Wilma Rudolph biographical overview
Wilma Rudolph Interview
200 Meter Final