Reading/Interest Level: Primary
Author: Jennifer Thermes
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
Emma Gatewood married young and bore eleven children. She eventually divorced her husband and raised the large family alone, finding respite by walking the hills and woods around her home. One day she read a story that inspired her to walk the Appalachian Trail, perhaps because the article said that no woman had ever done so. Through hardship, bad weather, minor injuries, and the help of friendly people along the way she made it the entire way!
Biographical in nature, this lovely picture book reveals the determined and cheerful nature of Emma Gatewood (a.k.a. Grandma Gatewood) who hiked the Appalachian Trail, "Just for the heck of it." Her story is a reminder that people can accomplish great things if they just set their mind to it and persist. The artwork matches the time period with hint of folk art appeal that is found in the region. A very good story for youngsters who like challenges, and maybe for those who need encouragement as well.