Girl Running: Bobbi Gibb and the Boston Marathon

Girl Running: Bobbi Gibb and the Boston Marathon

The inspiring story of the first female to run the Boston Marathon comes to life in stunningly vivid collage illustrations.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 i...

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Title:Girl Running: Bobbi Gibb and the Boston Marathon
Author:Annette Bay Pimentel
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Girl Running: Bobbi Gibb and the Boston Marathon Reviews

  • Amy

    This is the biography of Bobbi Gibb, the first woman to run the Boston Marathon. She ran her first [Boston] Marathon in 1966, before it was sanctioned for women to do so. The race committee would not recognize her. Women were not allowed to run this race until 1972.

    Gibb running in her nursing shoes reminded me of Grandma Gatewood hiking the Appalachian Trail in her Keds.

    An inspiring story!

  • Nina

    Content Area: Sports

    Girl Running is the true story of Bobbi Gibb, the first female Boston Marathon Runner. The twin text I have chosen to pair with Girl Running is the children’s book titled Izzy Barr, Running Star because these books both share many similarities. Bobbi Gibb was restricted from running because according to society back then, women simply weren’t physically capable of running long distances. Her amazing story shows her passion, talent and persistence to make history and inspire w

    Content Area: Sports

    Girl Running is the true story of Bobbi Gibb, the first female Boston Marathon Runner. The twin text I have chosen to pair with Girl Running is the children’s book titled Izzy Barr, Running Star because these books both share many similarities. Bobbi Gibb was restricted from running because according to society back then, women simply weren’t physically capable of running long distances. Her amazing story shows her passion, talent and persistence to make history and inspire women all around, despite the odds against her. Izzy Barr, Running Star also features a female runner who overcomes her own odds (unsupportive father and going head-to-head with a competitor who has more opportunities than she has) to compete in a citywide 10k. Because of their love for running and dedication to practice, they become victorious in the end. Because of all this, I believe that these texts tie together perfectly.

    For my strategy, I would use a webbing activity. After reading both books, I would prompt my students to think of a central topic to begin our web, to which they may indicate the word, “Running”. Main headings that would stem from the central topic would include Type of events, Obstacles women face in sports, Training, Benefits of Running, etc.

    Source:

    Mills, Claudia. (2015). Izzy Barr, Running Star. New York City, NY. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

  • Susan Morris

    Great true story! I can’t believe women could not compete in the Boston Marathon until 1972! I learn so much I did not know from children’s picture books. (Library)

  • Alicia

    Bobbi Gibb who defied the odds both in enjoying running (when girls were "physiologically unable" to run as referenced by the Boston Marathon committee) when they refused to recognize her as a running in the marathon... for three years. She would lace up a pair of boys sneakers, because girl sneakers didn't exist, throw on a sweatshirt and run alongside (and beat) men in the 26.2 mile course. It wasn't for several years that they even validated that she ran and then women were allowed to compete

    Bobbi Gibb who defied the odds both in enjoying running (when girls were "physiologically unable" to run as referenced by the Boston Marathon committee) when they refused to recognize her as a running in the marathon... for three years. She would lace up a pair of boys sneakers, because girl sneakers didn't exist, throw on a sweatshirt and run alongside (and beat) men in the 26.2 mile course. It wasn't for several years that they even validated that she ran and then women were allowed to compete.

    It's a quiet story and wonderfully drawn with the last image her running along the path with names of other significant figures' names underneath. Go Bobbi, go! Get it, girl.

  • Kellee

    Full review with teaching tools:

    I first learned about Bobbi Gibb when I read The Girl Who Ran by Frances Poletti & Kristina Yee and after reading it, I knew I wanted to learn more about Bobbi Gibb because she did so much for women’s progress when it came to running. Without her standing up and going against everyone, it would have taken longer for women to be accepted as marathoners.

    Pimentel does a beautiful job showing Gibb’s inspiration, determinati

    Full review with teaching tools:

    I first learned about Bobbi Gibb when I read The Girl Who Ran by Frances Poletti & Kristina Yee and after reading it, I knew I wanted to learn more about Bobbi Gibb because she did so much for women’s progress when it came to running. Without her standing up and going against everyone, it would have taken longer for women to be accepted as marathoners.

    Pimentel does a beautiful job showing Gibb’s inspiration, determination, and journey. I loved seeing more about what happened during the marathon than what I knew before and especially was verklempt by the support she found when ran by Wellesley College and the women at the college came out and cheered for her. I also loved learning that the other runners supported her!

    Through the afterwords, I also found out that Gibb had to wait 30 years before she was listed as the female winner of the Boston Marathon in 1966, 1967, and 1968 races because the officials wouldn’t honor her as a runner. This shows that so often even when the masses support something, it is a systemic issue that needs to be fixed.

    Last but not least, I must share how much I adore Archer’s artwork. I was a big fan of her work in Daniel Finds a Poem, and once again I found that her illustrations were the perfect addition to the story being told.

  • June

    A simple biography of Bobbi Gibb, who competed in the Boston Marathon even though her application was denied due to her sex. The afterward gives a bit more history and tells how she competed 3 consecutive years without official sanction and that females were not officially allowed to compete until 4 years later. I wish Gibb's quote "If I could prove this wrong...that's going to throw into question all the other prejudices and misconceptions that were used to keep women down for centuries." was m

    A simple biography of Bobbi Gibb, who competed in the Boston Marathon even though her application was denied due to her sex. The afterward gives a bit more history and tells how she competed 3 consecutive years without official sanction and that females were not officially allowed to compete until 4 years later. I wish Gibb's quote "If I could prove this wrong...that's going to throw into question all the other prejudices and misconceptions that were used to keep women down for centuries." was more prominent than stuck in the afterword.

  • Barbara

    It wasn't that long ago that girls were considered to be too physically fragile to run long distances. This picture book tells the inspiring story of Bobbi Gibb, the first woman to run in the Boston Marathon back in 1966. Despite the fact that she trained seriously for the event--more than 26 miles in distance--the race organizers refused to let her compete. Bobbi could have just let her anger and disappointment simmer inside of her, but instead, she chose to compete in secret, wearing a sweatsh

    It wasn't that long ago that girls were considered to be too physically fragile to run long distances. This picture book tells the inspiring story of Bobbi Gibb, the first woman to run in the Boston Marathon back in 1966. Despite the fact that she trained seriously for the event--more than 26 miles in distance--the race organizers refused to let her compete. Bobbi could have just let her anger and disappointment simmer inside of her, but instead, she chose to compete in secret, wearing a sweatshirt to hide that she was a girl. The other runners along the way actually provided support and encouragement as did many of the onlookers, perhaps realizing that they were seeing history in the making. Despite excruciating pain caused by her new running shoes, Bobbi finishes the race. The text captures the attitude toward women at that time as well as Bobbi's persistence and love for running, and the illustrations, created in oil and collage with tissue paper and patterned papers with the use of stamps that were handmade, leave readers with the feeling that they are running right alongside this determined woman who paved the way for others. The book closes with an image of Bobbi flying across the top of a grassy knoll, followed by others like her and with the names of other marathoners listed in the grass against a yellow background. The Afterword reveals that it took race officials thirty years before her accomplishment was acknowledged. This is such a wonderful story to share with others who may doubt themselves or not know how to challenge rules that seem unfair. It fits perfectly into a text collection of feminists, strong women, and individuals who made a difference in the world around them. I'm excited to add it to my collection and share it with my students.

  • Meredith

    Fabulous illustrations. I was confused about Bobbi's age, though ... the first page made it seem like she was very young, and the next thing I knew she was driving herself cross-country. A quick Google search tells me she was 23 the first time she ran; the book made it seem like she was a teenager.

  • Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*

    Pimentel, Annette Bay Girl Running: Bobbi Gibb and the Boston marathon, illustrated by Micha Archer. PICTURE BOOK. Nancy Paulsen (Penguin), 2018. $18

    In 1966, the officials of the Boston Marathon were sure that no female could withstand the rigors of the race. So when Bobbi Gibbs tried to register she was told no. But Bobbi wanted to show that she could, so she hid in the bushes near the start and ran anyway, finishing in the top third of the pack. Bobbi broke the barrier for women to run long di

    Pimentel, Annette Bay Girl Running: Bobbi Gibb and the Boston marathon, illustrated by Micha Archer. PICTURE BOOK. Nancy Paulsen (Penguin), 2018. $18

    In 1966, the officials of the Boston Marathon were sure that no female could withstand the rigors of the race. So when Bobbi Gibbs tried to register she was told no. But Bobbi wanted to show that she could, so she hid in the bushes near the start and ran anyway, finishing in the top third of the pack. Bobbi broke the barrier for women to run long distances, even though women weren’t officially allowed to run until a few years later.

    I love that Bobbi is being recognized for her doing what she loved best – running. This is the second picture book about Bobbi Gibbs in this last year. I love Archer’s mixed media illustrations and the exuberance they display. It’s a great way to show girls a pioneering woman who helped increase the world of choices they enjoy now.

    EL, MS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library Teacher

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