Two little girls compete to meet a local hero.
It’s 1961. Tomorrow there'll be a big parade in Clarksville, Tennessee, honoring hometown girl Wilma Rudolph, "the fastest woman in the world" and winner of multiple Olympic gold medals. Alta, along with friends Dee Dee and Little Mo, likes to pretend that she's the fastest woman in the world and hopes to meet her idol. But there's a new girl in the neighborhood, Charmaine, with an abundance of attitude and a pair of beautiful new shoes, shoes "Like Wilma's," with stripes down the sides and laces so white they glow. Alta challenges her to a race, to the mailbox and back. Alta wins, thinking "Wil-Ma Ru-Dolph" all the while. Charmaine suggests another run, to the corner; this time, she wins. Walking away, Alta's foot hits a rock, and the rock hits Charmaine. They almost fight. But the next day, Alta is struggling to carry the big banner for Wilma when Charmaine struts by. In a turnaround, she helps out, and all four find a perfect spot to watch. Wilma Rudolph smiles at the new friends and waves. Miller's girl-power story also tucks in some nice observations on friendship. Morrison's watercolor illustrations are vibrant and evocative, capturing the thrill and pride in this African-American community for its famous daughter. A helpful author's note adds context.
Sweet and inspiring.(Picture book. 5-8)