The Quickest Kid in Clarksville (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

Alta knows she's the quickest kid in Clarksville, TN - Wilma Rudolph's hometown - even though her shoes are a little beat up. But Charmaine, in her snazzy new sneaks, thinks she can best Alta in a foot race. Frank Morrison's illustrations are a treat: he portrays both runners as contagiously exuberant and physics-defying. Though egos and body parts bruise, the two girls ultimately team together to keep moving forward. Sometimes, life is easier as a relay.

— From Niki


It's the day before the big parade. Alta can only think about one thing: Wilma Rudolph, three-time Olympic gold medalist. She'll be riding on a float tomorrow. See, Alta is the quickest kid in Clarksville, Tennessee, just like Wilma once was. It doesn't matter that Alta's shoes have holes because Wilma came from hard times, too. But what happens when a new girl with shiny new shoes comes along and challenges Alta to a race? Will she still be the quickest kid? The Quickest Kid in Clarksville is a timeless story of dreams, determination, and the power of friendship.

About the Author

Pat Zietlow Miller began her writing career in college as a sports reporter and has had a fascination with Wilma Rudolph ever since. Pat is the author of several picture books and lives in Madison, Wisconsin.

Frank Morrison is the Coretta Scott King Honor Award–winning illustrator of many books for young people. He lives Atlanta, Georgia.

Praise For…

Cool Mom Picks' 10 Most Empowering Books for Girls

"A story with spunk to spare."--Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast

Charlotte Observer Best Books of the Year

"There's a lot of sass and attitude inside this book, and charm all over."--Las Vegas Review Journal

"Sweet and inspiring."--Kirkus Reviews

"Ratty old sneakers and a little competition won't keep Alta from running toward her Olympic dream."--FamilyFun Magazine

"Partly a book about kids learning to make friends, and partly a history lesson about Wilma Rudolph."--Design Mom

"Gentle tribute to the legend of the pathbreaking African-American sprinter Wilma Rudolph."--The New York Times

"A story about teamwork and determination."--Publishers Weeky

"A spunky tribute to friendship and determination."--Champagne-Urbana News Gazette

"An engaging, lively story."-The Horn Book Magazine

"All children will relate to the powerful lessons about jealousy, determination, confidence, dreams, and friendship."--Booking Mana

Product Details
ISBN: 9781452129365
ISBN-10: 1452129363
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Publication Date: February 9th, 2016
Pages: 40
Language: English