- Miss Mary Reporting: The True Story of Sportswriter Mary Garber
- Sally Ride: Life on a Mission
- Roller Derby Rivals
- Basketball Belles: How Two Teams and One Scrappy Player Put Women's Hoops on the Map
- Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (With a Few Flat Tires Along the Way)
- Bylines: A Photobiography of Nellie Bly
- Freeze Frame: A Photographic History of the Winter Olympics
- Swifter, Higher, Stronger: A Photographic History of the Summer Olympics
- Bull's-Eye: A Photobiography of Annie Oakley
- Girls Got Game: Sports Stories & Poems
- Play Like a Girl: A Celebration of Women In Sports
- Barbie: Shooting Hoops
- Winning Ways: A Photohistory of American Women in Sports
- A Whole New Ball Game: The Story of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League
Swifter, Higher, Stronger
A Photographic History
of the Summer Olympics
Recounting the amazing performances and defining moments of this international sports spectacle.
Foreword by Bob Costas • Published by the National Geographic Society, 2004; Updated in 2008 • 96 pages • Ages 10 & up
When I was growing up, summertime meant barbecues, family vacations, sleepover camp, and lots of hours spent playing sports. I swam, perfected my volleyball serve, hit homeruns, and even excelled as a “sharpshooter” in riflery. Although all the girls at my camp were encouraged to compete, there usually weren’t many well-known female athletes for us to look up to. But all that changed when the Summer Olympics rolled around.
Every four years, female swimmers, divers, gymnasts, and volleyball players seemed to come out of nowhere to fill us with awe and capture our imaginations. I watched with undivided attention as my newfound heroes swam faster, spiked harder, and dove more elegantly than I had thought possible. I spent hours glued to the TV appreciating the women—and men—who were reaching new heights as athletes. And as I watched, I imagined myself racing through the water or slamming a spike over the net to earn my own share of Olympic glory.
So it’s not surprising that I jumped at the chance when my editor suggested writing a history of the Summer Olympics. I started by examining each Olympiad and determining what made it special. I decided to summarize the highlights in an Olympic Snapshots section that became the heart of the book’s large appendix. Then I thought about which themes deserved attention up front. I wanted to include the story of how Pierre de Coubertin resurrected the ancient Olympics, and to write about Alice Milliat’s lesser known campaign for more women’s events. I also wanted to pay tribute to athletes who somehow raised the level of the Games, and felt the need to focus on some of the challenges that the Olympic Movement has faced. Finally, I wanted to remember athletes who embodied one of the founding principles of the Olympics, fair play.
Immersing myself in Olympic history certainly has made me more aware of the intimacy and innocence that the Games have lost over the years. But it’s also reminded me of the emotional impact that the Summer Olympiads have always had on me. Even today, the first strains of the Olympic Fanfare (actually called "Bugler’s Dream," by Leo Arnaud) send chills up my spine. I can’t help feeling that what I’m about to witness will amaze and inspire me.
What the Critics Said
“While other books on the topic go into more depth on specific sports, athletes, or historical events, none are as enthusiastically broad or as enjoyable to read as this one. And, it’s superbly illustrated with colorful, well-chosen, and enticing photographs.”—School Library Journal, June 2004
“In time for this summer’s Games, a slickly produced overview that’s just right for getting readers up to speed on the modern Olympics’ revival, development, and high (or low) spots....Capped by a superb, annotated, multimedia source list for readers seeking systematic statistics or specifics about individual events, this sets a pace that few, if any, competitors are likely to match.” —Kirkus Reviews, May 15, 2004