Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The Girl Who Ran: Bobbi Gibb, The First Woman to Run the Boston Marathon

Title: The Girl Who Ran: Bobbi Gibb, The First Woman to Run the Boston Marathon  
Author: Frances Poletti and Kristina Yee 
Illustrator: Susanna Chapman 
Publisher: Compendium Inc.
Publication Date: June 13th, 2017 
Genre/Format: Non-Fiction/Picture Book 
GoodReads Summary: "She said she would do it, she wasn't a liar; she'd show them by running like the wind in the fire." When Bobbi Gibb saw the Boston Marathon her mind was set—she had to be a part of it. She trained hard, journeying across America to run on all kinds of terrain. But when the time came to apply for the marathon, she was refused entry. They told her girls don't run, girls can't run. That didn't stop Bobbi.

This picture book tells the true story of how she broke the rules in 1966 and how, one step at a time, her grit and determination changed the world. Created in collaboration with Bobbi Gibb and the perfect gift for would-be runners, kids of all ages, and everyone out there with a love of sport.
What I Think: I'm a runner myself so I completely connected with the love of running that Frances and Kristina bring to life by telling Bobbi's story. I didn't start running for myself until college but now I see how it's such a great activity that so many people can participate in. Running in 5ks is fun but running in a marathon is completely overwhelming in an amazing way. I've only run the Chicago Marathon once but it's an accomplishment I'm so proud of and one I will never forget.
     There is a theme of inspiration throughout this book. Bobbi is inspired and then she inspires others as well. As a mentor text, it's interesting to look at how the authors came back to this theme and wove it into the book throughout. There are several lines that come back to Bobbi and her running while the rest of the text blankets these lines and at the same time show how she was inspired. It's so interesting to me, this idea of inspiration and it's neat to look at how the authors brought this theme to a book and wove it in. Recognizing a theme or themes of our writing is important. I find it helpful to know what message I'd like to send overall because when I'm conscious of it, I can more easily weave it in. It helps me feel more grounded in my story when I know the theme as well. This can help in longer texts or short texts too. I reviewed Disrupting Thinking by Kylene Beers and Robert Probst last week and they talk about reading and paying attention to what is happening in the text, in our head, and in our heart. As writers, we need to pay attention to our craft, to what we want our readers to think but most importantly, how we want to reach our readers' hearts. To me, the theme has a lot to do with heart. 
     As a mentor text, The Girl Who Ran is a perfect example of how we can weave theme into a text. Yes, the tell the story, yes they use elements of writing we can study, but also, they use theme to touch our hearts.  
Snatch of Text:  
"One day, when Bobbi was grown, her father took her to Boston, 
where she saw...
Not a few, not a dozen, but hundreds of people, moving as one. 
Kindred spirits, all running miles together.

Bobbi knew she had to be a part of it."
Writing Prompt: Throughout the book, the author uses the word "inspire" and gives examples of inspiration. Use examples from the text to talk about what it means to be inspired.

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