Ethelda Bleibtrey Makes Waves of Change

Ethelda Bleibtrey was a girl with guts who loved the water. As a child with polio in the early 1900s, swimming set her free. The water released her from her pain and helped her build strong muscle--and a powerful spirit. From then on, from the New York beaches to the choppy waters of the 1920 Olympics to the Central Park Reservoir, Ethelda made a splash wherever she went. For Ethelda, doing the right thing sometimes came with a price--change often does--but Ethelda helped make the world better than how she found it. Splash!

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Interest Level Grade 1 - Grade 4
Reading Level Grade 2
Dewey 797.2/1092 B
Lexile 570L
ATOS Reading Level
Guided Reading Level N
Language English
Publisher Sleeping Bear Press
Available Formats Hardcover (9781534111431), PDF (9781534112094), Hosted ebook (9781534112636)
Copyright 2022
Number of Pages 32
Dimensions 9 x 11
Graphics Full-color illustrations

School Library Journal - Splash! Ethelda Bleibtrey Makes Waves of Change

“With illustrations and text fully grounded in research, including, welcome historical details and photographs that appear in the back matter, this book is heartily recommended for elementary nonfiction collections.”

Booklist - Splash! Ethelda Bleibtrey Makes Waves of Change

“Baddeley’s colorful illustrations create an upbeat tone, and the underwater scenes are the particularly effective. Showing respect for the line between fact and storytelling, the straightforward narrative delivers information about Bleibtrey’s life while designating the occasional fictionalized words or comments with italics or by placement within speech balloons. This picture-book biography celebrates a little-known American athlete.”

Kirkus Reviews - Splash! Ethelda Bleibtrey Makes Waves of Change

“This compelling story makes full use of the illustrations. The blues and greens of the water reflect both depth and movement and the shift in Ethelda’s life from stillness to freedom. The illustrator’s use of line is particularly effective, showing Ethelda moving through water and space. Readers will love reading about this gutsy woman.”

Splash! Ethelda Bleibtrey Makes Waves of Change - Activity Sheets

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Author: Elisa Boxer

Elisa Boxer is an Emmy and Murrow award winning journalist whose work has been featured in publications including The New York Times and Fast Company. She has reported for newspapers, magazines and TV stations, and has been working on this book ever since coming back home to Maine for her first job in television news in 1996. She is the author of numerous acclaimed nonfiction picture books, including The Voice That Won the Vote, and SPLASH!: Ethelda Bleibtrey Makes Waves of Change (a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection). Elisa lives in Maine and has more children’s books on the way.

Illustrator: Elizabeth Baddeley

Full-color illustrations