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SURFER OF THE CENTURY by Ellie Crowe

SURFER OF THE CENTURY

The Life of Duke Kahanamoku

By Ellie Crowe (Author) , Richard Waldrep (Illustrator)

Age Range: 7 & up

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-1-58430-276-6
Publisher: Lee & Low

“In school Duke struggled with his lessons, but in the ocean he was a star.” Duke Paoa Kahanamoku (b. 1890), father of modern surfing, who dropped out of high school and battled racism, politics and financial difficulties on his course to becoming a gold- and silver-medal–winning Olympic swimmer, knew a thing or two about making adjustments and living with aloha (love, peace and compassion). Waldrep’s stunning Art Deco–style airbrush illustrations complement this rich picture of the life of the man who began his life as a humble beach boy and ended it as the equally humble State of Hawai’i Ambassador of Aloha. A lovely visual rhythm is created as the text background alternates between hues of blue (ocean-, pool- and sky-) and shades of sandy beige, pulled directly from the impressive artwork opposite. This harmony in the art is matched in the text, a warm and admiring narrative of a fine American athlete and role model readers may not know. The author, an award-winning subject specialist on Hawai’i, its customs and culture, includes acknowledgements and citations on the verso. (timeline, map) (Picture book/nonfiction. 7+)