Surfer of the Century: The Life of Duke Kahanamoku
Surfer of the Century: The Life of Duke Kahanamoku
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Annotation: The true story of Hawaiian Duke Kahanamoku, six-time Olympic swimming champion and legendary surfer who popularized surfing around the world.
Genre: Biographies
Catalog Number: #24145
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
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Special Formats: Inventory Sale Inventory Sale
Copyright Date: 2007
Edition Date: 2007
Illustrator: Waldrep, Richard,
Pages: 48
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 1-584-30276-3 Perma-Bound: 0-605-17915-8
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-584-30276-6 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-17915-8
Dewey: 921
LCCN: 2006036562
Dimensions: 24 x 28 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
This strikingly illustrated picture-book biography celebrates Duke Kahanamoku, who broke records as an Olympic swimmer and introduced surfing around the globe. Crowe begins in 1917 with an exciting account of 27-year-old Kahanamoku's nearly two-mile ride on a giant wave. Subsequent spreads hark back to Kahanamoku's early years, when he lived across the road from Waikiki Beach, through swimming training that earned him Olympic gold and worldwide fame. Although Crowe references the racial discrimination that Kahanamoku encountered, younger readers may still need help putting some generalizations ("public beaches and pools on the mainland were mostly closed to people of color," for example) into historical context. In addition, the short, lively text, suitable for reluctant readers, loses focus as it shifts between Kahanamoku's swimming and surfing accomplishments. A thorough time line helps pull things back together, while dramatic colored-pencil-and-gouache artwork enhances the sense of Kahanamoku's iconic persona in glossy stylized images of the muscled athlete charging through sparkling waters. A welcome introduction to a groundbreaking figure rarely covered in books for youth.
Kirkus Reviews
"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-medalwinning Olympic swimmer, knew a thing or two about making adjustments and living with aloha (love, peace and compassion). Waldrep's stunning Art Decostyle 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+)
School Library Journal Starred Review
Gr 3-6-This picture-book biography celebrates the life of champion swimmer and surfer. The athlete's life spanned a key period in Hawaii as it grew from a sleepy rural backwater to a tourist mecca. Kahanamoku grew up in and on the water in his hometown of Waikiki. His natural swimming abilities soon attracted a coach, and he began to train for the 1912 Olympics. In a race in August, 1911, he shattered swim records, but the Amateur Athlete Union would not recognize his accomplishment because it found his times too amazing to be believed. Nonetheless, he earned the right to compete in the Olympics where he won gold and became friends with Jim Thorpe. Kahanamoku also did much to popularize the sport of surfing through his travels and his later career. This appreciative biography does a fine job of summarizing his accomplishments. Crowe depicts his encounters with racial discrimination with sensitivity, underscoring the courage and character he developed to face these setbacks. The text is concise and readable, ably supported by Waldrep's full-page color art on every spread. These vibrant, action-filled illustrations, reminiscent of old-fashioned travel postcards, add much to the book's overall appeal. Well researched and fact-filled, this book will appeal to a wide audience of general readers.-Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
School Library Journal Starred Review
ALA Booklist (9/1/07)
Kirkus Reviews
Wilson's Children's Catalog
Word Count: 4,431
Reading Level: 6.2
Interest Level: 3-6
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 6.2 / points: 1.0 / quiz: 118655 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:5.9 / points:3.0 / quiz:Q42058
Lexile: 980L

The true story of Hawaiian Duke Kahanamoku, six-time Olympic swimming champion and legendary surfer who popularized surfing around the world. Full color.

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