Cover image for America's champion swimmer : Gertrude Ederle
America's champion swimmer : Gertrude Ederle
Adler, David A.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
San Diego : Harcourt, [2000]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 24 x 29 cm
Describes the life and accomplishments of Gertrude Ederle, the first woman to swim the English Channel and a figure in the early women's rights movement.
General Note:
"Gulliver books."
Reading Level:
580 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.4 0.5 39864.

Reading Counts RC K-2 3.4 2 Quiz: 24708 Guided reading level: M.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GV838.E34 A35 2000 Juvenile Non-Fiction Biography
GV838.E34 A35 2000 Juvenile Non-Fiction Biography

On Order



Trudy Ederle loved to swim. And she was determined to be the best. At seventeen Trudy won three medals at the 1924 Olympics, in Paris. By the time she turned nineteen, Trudy had set twenty-nine U.S. and world records. But what she planned to do next had never been done--by a woman. She would tackle the most difficult swim of all time: the twenty-one miles of cold, choppy water that separate England from France. Trudy's historic fourteen-hour swim across the English Channel set a world record. She defied those who said it couldn't be done. And with her courage and endurance, Trudy Ederle became a symbol for women everywhere.
*By the award-winning team that created Lou Gehrig: The Luckiest Man
*Includes a historical author's note
*Features one of the most celebrated female athletes of the century

Author Notes

David A. Adler was born in New York City. He attended Queen's College in New York City and later, earned an MBA in Marketing from New York University.

He writes both fiction and non-fiction. He is the author of Cam Jansen mysteries and the Andy Russell titles. His titles has earned him numerous awards including a Sydney Taylor Book Award for his title "The Number on My Grandfather's Arm," "A Picture Book of Jewish Holidays" was named a Notable Book of 1981 by the American Library Association and "Our Golda" was named a Carter G. Woodson Award Honor Book.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 2^-4, younger for reading aloud. Adler and Widener, who previously combined their talents in books about Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, turn to the distaff side of athletics for their latest subject. In simple, direct prose, Adler introduces Gertrude Ederle, known as Trudy to her friends, and describes her evolution as a swimmer. After Trudy almost drowned as a child, her father taught her to dog-paddle. As she grew older, she found that swimming was her talent, and beginning at age 15, she was winning competitions and breaking records. In 1925 she decided to swim the English Channel. A near miss made her even more determined to try a second time, and in a text that is sure and always interesting, Adler captures the drama of that exhausting, exhilarating record-breaking swim. Widener's durable, strongly physical deep-hued artwork displays the right muscle for the biography. The two-page spread showing Ederle eating a chicken leg while crossing the channel will make kids smile, and the picture of her triumphant emergence from the water captures both the effort and the energy that went into the extraordinary swim. An author's note is appended. --Ilene Cooper

Publisher's Weekly Review

The team behind The Babe & I and Lou Gehrig: The Luckiest Man here abandons the baseball field for the chilly, choppy waters of the English Channel, which Ederle swam across in 1926. The first woman to accomplish this feat, Ederle also beat, by almost two hours, the existing men's record. Widener's stylized acrylic paintings again creatively evoke a bygone era, while Adler's direct yet descriptive narrative establishes the historical context. He notes that in 1906, the year of Ederle's birth, women in most states could not vote: "Many people felt that a woman's place was in the home," writes Adler. "But Gertrude Ederle's place was in the water." Readers will warm to the heroine, a city kid who was taught how to swim only after she, at age seven, fell into a pond and nearly drowned. Text and art offer a compelling, in-depth account of the adult Ederle's crossing of the Channel, as she swam for more than 14 hours from Cape Gris-Nez, France, to Kingsdown, England, despite driving rain, strong winds, high waves, a powerful current--and her trainer's directive to quit. An exciting story, well told; kids will dive right in. Ages 6-9. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 4-This picture-book biography covers the life of Gertrude Ederle, highlighting her world-record breaking, long-distance swims. In 1926, women were thought to be the weaker sex, but this indomitable young athlete broke the men's record by two hours when she swam the English Channel. Fascinating tidbits about her 21-mile swim will entice readers: "She floated on her back and ate chicken and drank beef broth." For her victory, she was rewarded with a ticker-tape parade and a letter from President Coolidge calling her "America's Best Girl." More information about her life is appended. In the acrylic paintings, characters with large bodies and small heads, suggesting Depression-era art, are set on impressionistic backgrounds. The pictures of the swirling, rough water add fluidity and motion, and the perspectives that show the small figure of the swimmer in the vast sea capture the immensity of Ederle's endeavor. Attractive formatting and large type make this story of achievement as effective and as inspiring to read aloud as this team's Lou Gehrig: The Luckiest Man (1997) and The Babe & I (1999, both Gulliver).-Jean Gaffney, Dayton and Montgomery County Public Library, OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



Trudy wore a red bathing cap and a two-piece bathing suit and goggles that she and her sister had designed. To protect her from the icy water, Margaret coated Trudy with lanolin and heavy grease. The greasing took a long time--too long for Trudy. "For heaven's sake," she complained. "Let's get started." Excerpted from America's Champion Swimmer: Gertrude Ederle by David A. Adler All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.