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FEARLESS by Barb Rosenstock


The Story of Racing Legend Louise Smith

by Barb Rosenstock, illustrated by Scott Dawson

Age Range: 6 - 9

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-525-42173-3
Publisher: Dutton

Louise Smith was not your typical girl growing up in the 1920s. She craved speed, and that led her to car racing, a relatively new sport dominated by men. Louise’s spunk was never dampened by the challenges she faced as a female racecar driver. Though her husband disapproved and the sport was dangerous, she pursued her dreams and never gave up, paving the way for today’s female racers. Using bits and pieces of the legends that grew up around Louise, Rosenstock tells her story in a simple but animated way, moving from one character-developing anecdote (she crashed her car into a chicken coop at the age of seven) to another (she snuck off to Daytona under the pretext of a vacation in the South). “Fast! Faster! Flying Free!” is the book’s refrain, repeated in bold, red type that conveys movement and energy. Dawson’s paintings give Louise’s story the acceleration she loved. The blurred images show motion and speed, depicting history accurately, though through a nostalgic lens. A solid choice for racing fans and those who like to read about women trailblazers. (author’s note, sources) (Picture book/biography. 6-9)