Trudy’s Big Swim: How Gertrude Ederle Swam the English Channel and Took the World by Storm
Trudy’s Big Swim is the true story of Gertrude (Trudy) Ederle, who was the first female to swim the English Channel. This book, presented as a picture book suitable for elementary school children, opens with a compelling spread of Trudy in the water as she attempts the difficult swim. As it unfolds, readers learn that two hundred people had attempted the feat before Trudy, but only five men had actually succeeded and none of them on their first try. Trudy had tried it before the previous summer but hadn’t made it. She was determined to be the first woman to conquer the channel.
This is a riveting story about a strong and brave woman who may not be familiar to children (or adults!). Beautifully rendered drawings enhance the story of the swim. Interesting details include what and how Trudy ate while swimming, perils in the water, and quotes from Trudy herself. The story itself is exciting, but the author also weaves in historical context that really helps the reader to see the significance of the subject matter. Back matter includes a fascinating afterword and author’s note as well as a list of further resources and a timeline. Very highly recommended.
Sue Macy • Matt Collins, Illustrator