BOOK REVIEWS

The Great American Foot Race: Ballyhoo for the Bunion Derby! Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2018-04-16 
Review Score: 5 out of 5 star From 0 user ratings
ISBN:1629796026
LANGUAGE:English

" I had never heard of this race before, but I thought the history behind how it came about, the organizer, the runners, and what was going on outside the race at that time were pretty interesting to read about. Upper elementary students interesting in sports would probably enjoy it immensely, while it feels young for older readers and I personally might have dozed off during a few parts. " said.

" Reviewed for professional publication. " said.

" I think my library screwed up by shelving this in the adult section, but I was a middle schooler once, so I kept with it. Not bad. " said.

" Really more like 3.5 stars - interesting account of a footrace/ultramarathon I had never heard of before this book. " said.

" An interesting, focused look at how Route 66 and American highways came to be through the lens of a transcontinental marathon race. I cannot stress enough how meticulously-formatted and edited this nonfiction work is - I could not get over how smoothly the pages transitioned between primary sources/sidebars and the main text! This was also easy to read and felt appropriate for both middle school and high school. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this! " said.

" Nonfiction narrative of the first trans-American race in 1928. Well-written, flowing, with just enough background to give proper perspective without taking away from the purpose of the book. Pictures, charts, map timeline, and extensive bibliography support the text. " said.

"Who would have thought that the construction of a new highway would lead to a cross-country marathon? But that's exactly what happened. and Speno describes how the concern of business owners and a clever sports promoter came together in a very unexpected way. The construction of Route 66 had businesses along the proposed length of the highway looking for increased recognition in hopes of future customers traveling through, and they teamed up with C.C. Pyle to create an event that would capture public attention. Looking back from our world of social media and constant news coverage, it's hard to imagine the obstacles that stood in their way. The fact that this came at the end of the Roaring Twenties with its dance marathons, pole-sitters, and other outlandish competitions helps to explain why people would be willing to attempt such a monumental feat.

Complete with descriptions of the key figures, maps of the route, historical photos, and even advertisements of the race, the book traces the event from its inception through every milestone along the way and the results at the finish line.

Those who are interested in marathons and running, or who simply enjoy sports stories of all sorts, will have an entertaining dip into a piece of history. It is also a good read for anyone interested in the ballyhoo mentality of the Twenties.
" said.

"What an interesting book about a little reported part of American history! While the main aspect of the book is about a transcontinental race from California to New York, also related is a bit of the stories of the development of the famed Route 66 and the highway system, the dance marathons, and the first marathon. The book is also the story of C.C. Pyle, the “P.T. Barnum of professional sports.” Pyle came up with an idea to have a race across the United States. His $25,000 prize for first would draw many men. Towns were to pay $1000 or more to have the runners come their way, people were supposed to pay to see, and the highway system was supposed to sponsor the race as well. Those three financial backings did not happen as planned, and the runners did not get the food nor nightly lodging comfort as promised. Their individual stories are told which adds much to the story. The black face prejudice in Texas, the hometown boys get huge welcomes, and one even lands a new job. The black and white photos add a great deal to the story allowing the readers to see the actual participants, land, cities, and even the program sold. History lovers and sports lovers alike will enjoy this book. It could be coupled with the study of the 1920’s.

I received this book from the publishers as part of Region 11 School Librarians Review Group. That in no way influenced my opinion of this book.
" said.

April 2018 New Book:

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