Fastest woman on Earth The story of Tatyana McFadden

Francesca Cavallo

Book - 2021

"This is the story of 17-time Paralympic medalist Tatyana McFadden. Born with spina bifida in Russia, Tatyana was raised in an orphanage where she walked on her hands for the first six years of her life. In 1994, she was adopted and moved to the United States, where she started racing and breaking records; and is now considered the best female wheelchair racer of all time, and the fastest woman on Earth." - Amazon.com.

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Series
Paralympians.
Subjects
Genres
Biographies
Picture books
Published
[Canada] : Undercats, Inc [2021]
Language
English
Physical Description
44 unnumbered pages : color illustrations ; 28 cm
ISBN
9781953592040
195359204X
Main Author
Francesca Cavallo (author)
Other Authors
Luis San Vincente (illustrator)
Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Cavallo tells the true story of Tatyana McFadden, a child who grew up with "a condition called spina bifida./ Her legs did not support her." When Tatyana is adopted from a Russian orphanage by mothers Deborah and Bridget, she begins a new life in America and finds a love for racing, eventually leading her to compete—and medal—in the 2004 Paralympics in Athens at age 15. Despite slightly choppy prose, Cavallo succeeds in highlighting McFadden's alternative approaches, such as walking and jumping rope on her hands. San Vicente's action-packed scenes largely feature big-eyed, pink-skinned people; characters of color appear in the audience at the Games. A celebration of adaptation and embracing individuality. Front matter includes a note from Deborah McFadden, former Commissioner of Disabilities and Tatyana's parent; back matter includes more information about Tatyana. Ages 4–8. (Aug.) Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

K-Gr 2—This first installment in a series that will highlight Paralympic athletes features Tatyana McFadden—known as the fastest woman on earth. Her story is told as a fairy tale that starts in an orphanage in Russia. McFadden was born with spina bifida, and she often had to do things differently than the other children. Her fairy godmother comes in the form of a visitor from America who is impressed with her ingenuity. She gifts McFadden her first wheelchair and takes her home to the U.S. as her adopted daughter. The story is told in simple words without a lot of detail. For example, the house where the girl lived in Russia is described as "a house where kids who did not have parents lived together." McFadden's spina bifida is defined as "her legs did not support her." The story follows the young woman as she finds her own way of competing in sports, all the way to the Paralympic games where she won several medals, cheered on by her two adoptive moms and her birth mother in Russia. The illustrations are bright and full of action, and the tone of the story is upbeat and positive. The fairy-tale motif offers a kid-friendly view of a larger-than-life figure, while also emphasizing her human side. Back matter includes a page filled with medals that invites kids to give themselves a medal every time they do something their own way. VERDICT A great introduction to an accomplished athlete that also showcases a nontraditional family; this work will empower kids.—Mindy Rhiger, Hennepin County Lib., MN Copyright 2021 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

From Francesca Cavallo, author of the NY Times bestseller Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls.This is the story of 17-time Paralympic medalist Tatyana McFadden.Born with spina bifida in Russia, Tatyana was raised in an orphanage where she walked on her hands for the first six years of her life. In 1994, she was adopted and moved to the United States, where she started racing and breaking records; and is now considered the best female wheelchair racer of all time, and the fastest woman on Earth.First book in the non-fiction Paralympians series, a picture book series telling the stories of 4 champions who do things their own way and are reinventing sport.