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The True Story of the Oldest Person To Ever Run a Marathon

by Simran Jeet Singh ; illustrated by Baljinder Kaur

Pub Date: Aug. 25th, 2020
ISBN: 978-0-525-55509-4
Publisher: Kokila

A short, illustrated biography of Fauja Singh, who was the first 100-year-old to ever run a marathon.

As the picture book begins, Fauja Singh, a clever child with a good sense of fun, often feels left out, as he is unable to walk and run like his friends. His family worries about his weak legs, but the boy learns to walk at the age of 5 after much practice and effort. He cannot go to school, however, as the only school is several miles away from his village, and his legs are still weak; instead, he learns to farm, and by the age of 15, he can walk a whole mile. As the years pass, Fauja gets married, has children, and even gets his own farm. After his wife passes away, Fauja goes to live with his family in England at the age of 81. It is here that Fauja begins to run and even signs up for his first marathon. In his narrative, author Singh (no relation) focuses largely on the life and achievements of his subject, emphasizing the importance of working hard and holding on to dreams, while Kaur’s colorful—at-times collagelike—illustrations include key details that help readers fully appreciate aspects of Fauja’s Sikh religion. Fauja Singh’s foreword combines with further information about the oldest marathoner in the backmatter to help contextualize the narrative for young readers.

An inspirational story about persevering in the face of hardship.

(Picture book/biography. 4-8)