Her Fearless Run: Katherine Switzer’s Historic Boston Marathon by Kim Chaffee [CeCe’s Book Review]

Her Fearless Run: Kathrine Switzer’s Historic Boston MarathonHer Fearless Run: Kathrine Switzer’s Historic Boston Marathon by Kim Chaffee
Published: April 2019
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The prevailing thought of the day said that girls were too fragile for sports. In which case, competing in an athletic competition would have been simply inconceivable but Katherine Switzer knew better and did not impose such limitations on herself. She was a runner and would prove time and again just what she was capable of. Katherine believed in herself, even in the face of doubters. “She believed she could run any distance if she trained for it,” and that’s exactly what she did until she was ready to run in the 1967 Boston Marathon. She was, “The only woman with an official number.”

Though she was challenged every step of the way, including just after the race, this historic run marked the first of many competitions for Katherine. She was a pioneer who opened up the doors for other women runners, and she still paves the way today through her nonprofit organization, 261 Fearless that provides “opportunities for women to find their strength and self-esteem through running and walking” (from the Author’s note).

This book will inspire every reader. It’s for everyone that has ever been told that they can’t and for anyone who dreams big dreams. Either way, the reader will be compelled to press on to the point of realizing their goals and dreams. It will show them that it takes hard work, commitment, and dedication and that the fruit of such labor makes every second of it worth it.

Kim Chaffee does a great job telling Katherine Switzer’s story and I appreciate the additional details in the author’s note at the end. Ellen Rooney’s mixed media collage style illustrations are such a joy to experience. I am happy to have another great picture book biography to add to my K-5 library.

View all my reviews


Kim Chaffee | http://www.kimchaffee.com/

Ellen Rooney | https://ellenrooneydesign.com/

Page Street Kids
An Imprint of Page Street Publishing

Borrowed from the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library

Find Her Fearless Run at your local indie bookstore:Support Independent Bookstores - Visit IndieBound.org


  1. I know a lot of women runners and they would have so appreciated having a book like this to read when they were younger. I’m glad the book does justice to Switzer’s story. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for stopping by Alyssa. I think this book is going to inspire so many of my students. We have a good number of girls who run as part of the Girls on the Run program. I’m adding this book with them in mind but I know that it will inspire every reader to persevere in the face of adversity.

      Liked by 1 person

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