BOOK REVIEWS

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

UPDATE TIME: 2017-09-18 
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.

" 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.

"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.

"Public Library Copy

Who knew? The Boston Marathon dates to 1897, but distance running was taken to even greater lengths in 1928 by a professional huckster named C.C. Pyle. He orchestrated a cross country race to promote the new Route 66 that went literally across the country, from Los Angeles to New York City. An astonishing 199 men registered (women weren't allowed), but an even more amazing 55 finished. Their travails over the next 84 days are brilliantly described by Speno in this book on a long forgotten race. I loved how he not only elucidated the general history of the era, but also talked at length about the backgrounds and motivations of the runners.

The research on this is impeccable and impressive. While there are still a lot of historical resources from the 1920s, they couldn't have been easy to find. It's also hard to find good narrative nonfiction of interest to middle school readers, and this book is just the right length and involves one of middle schoolers favorite things... sports! The Great American Foot Race is an essential addition to all middle school and high school libraries. I know that this will be the first choice of all of my cross country runners when they have to choose a nonfiction book for a project! Very excited to have this in my collection. Definitely take a look.

Also, I think the author is from a community very close to where I taught in Cincinnati!

Here is an informative YouTube video by David Antoine about the winner, Andy Payne.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4Hl8...
" said.

" 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.

December 2017 New Book:

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