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EconKids Home New Picture Books in 2007 (First Word Q-Z) Surfer of the Century / by Ellen Crowe, illustrated by Richard Waldrep

Surfer of the Century / by Ellen Crowe, illustrated by Richard Waldrep

 


Title:  Surfer of the Century
Author:  Ellie Crowe
Illustrator:  Richard Waldrep
Publisher:   Lee & Low Books
ISBN:  978-1-58430-276-6
Year: 2007
Flesch-Kinkaid Grade Level:  6.2

Concepts:  human resources, discrimination, scarcity

Review:  Duke Kahanamoku, widely regarded as the person who spread the popularity of modern surfing, also won six Olympic medals over the course of swimming career.  This fascinating book tells the story of Duke’s upbringing on the Hawaiian island of O’ahu and his quick progression up the ranks to become Hawaii’s fastest young swimmer and later an Olympic champion. He also promoted the sport of surfing, which was previously only known in Hawaii, in Australia and the United States, and he introduced the idea of using surfboards for rescue and lifeguard operations. Woven throughout the interesting biographical account are powerful economics lessons related to scarcity and discrimination.  Financial constraints and barriers associated with racism contributed to the challenges that Duke faced in his quest to compete internationally and become the “fastest swimmer in the world.”

Review by:  Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children

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