As someone who is not a serious follower of sports, I did wonder if this book would hold any interest for me, but after reading the first few pages, I found myself totally engrossed in the world of athletics.
As well as recounting the achievements of athletes throughout the generations, it tells of the strenuous training they endured and the hardships these athletes had to overcome including gender discrimination and physical disabilities.
As the title suggests, the book features runners from many disciplines, sprinters, middle/long distance, marathon and ultra-marathon runners, Paralympians, walkers and hurdlers, along with their coaches and trainers together with many good quality black and white photos of the subjects.
The stated intention of the author is to inspire readers to achieve, to set goals and fuel ambition. The stories in this book do just that, even for non-sporting enthusiasts, for example Paralympian Trish Hill who has personally achieved so much in sport and has gone on to help others in the movement. There are many others who do not have a high profile amongst the general public but have focussed on their goals and achieved extraordinary success in their chosen field.
I would recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in how far body and mind can be pushed to excel. It is a fascinating read as well as being inspirational.
Title: The Kiwi Runners’ Family Tree: Volume One, 1800s to 1999
Author: Dreydon Sobanja
Publisher: Inspired Kids Ltd
Format: Paperback A4
Ages: Approx 10 years - Adult
Reviewer: Anabel McPhee, Librarian, The Catlins Area School, South Otago
How are you recommending this book? Highly recommended
Opening sentence: I was only 4 years old when John Walker won gold in the 1500 metres at the Montreal Olympics, but the memory of that race is a clear and defining moment in my life because it was when I stared to dream about wearing the Silver Fern.
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