Trudy's Big Swim: How Gertrude Ederle Swam the English Channel and Took the World by Storm

by Sue Macy and Matt Collins

“Violent storms, numbing cold, exhaustion, leg cramps, painful jellyfish stings... read more

“Violent storms, numbing cold, exhaustion, leg cramps, painful jellyfish stings and ongoing fears about sharks” have (understandably) deterred scores of swimmers from crossing the English Channel. But not Trudy, who by 1926 has already set dozens of records in women’s swimming events. On this, her second attempt to cross the waterway, she is determined to be the first woman to succeed. During her remarkable journey, Trudy “dodges chunks of driftwood” and “slimy, poisonous jellyfish hurled at her by the waves.” She rests only to snack on chicken legs and a bottle of broth delivered to her in a net from an accompanying boat. She braves choppy water and is forced to adjust her course, adding five miles to her route. Finally, after 14 hours and 39 minutes, she emerges on a beach in England, triumphant. Detailed, realistic illustrations add drama and urgency to the already exciting story of an impressive woman athlete. (Ages 5-9)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2018

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