Thermes presents the tale of the first woman thru-hiker on the Appalachian Trail.
Emma Gatewood always found a bit of an escape in rambling through the hills near her farm in Ohio, and with 11 children and the farm and house chores, she sure needed one. In 1955, at the age of 67, Emma headed out on the A.T. She had read in a magazine that no woman had ever hiked the whole thing and that it was easy. Alternating pages tell the tale of Emma’s thru-hike and facts about the trail, the backdrop double-page spreads of sectional maps of the A.T. pointing out notable sights and mountains and marking Emma’s progress. Dubbed Grandma Gatewood by the kindly people she met along the way, she was the recipient of much trail magic—she carried no stove, little food, and no tent, and she wore through five pairs of canvas sneakers. Thermes presents both the good and the bad about Emma’s hike: a bear, rain (a hurricane!), a few injuries, gorgeous scenery, and many new friends. Quite a few of the softly colored, cartoony, watercolor-and–colored pencil spreads will have readers packing their own backpacks, most notably those of McAfee Knob, the backwoods night sky, and the top of Katahdin. Emma is white; among a group of fellow hikers are some people of color. A text-heavy backmatter spread includes a biography of Emma Gatewood, the history of the A.T., and selected sources.
An inspiring story for readers of all ages and genders. (Informational picture book. 4-10)