Cover Reveal: Splash!: Ethelda Bleibtrey Makes Waves of Change 


4 Years & Up

Historical Figure



Elisa Boxer & Elizabeth Baddeley

here ye here ye

I have the opportunity to celebrate the cover reveal of a new book out in July, and it’s even my favorite genre! Ethelda not only pioneered therapeutic treatments for individuals with polio (which she had as a child) but she also went on a quest for better swim costumes for women at a time when such a thing was considered outlandish. I really enjoyed reading about Ethelda’s life, and soon you’ll be able to as well!

From the publisher: Ethelda Bleibtrey was a girl with guts who loved the water. As a child with polio in the early 1900s, swimming set her free. The water released her from her pain and helped her build strong muscle–and a powerful spirit. From then on, from the New York beaches to the choppy waters of the 1920 Olympics to the Central Park Reservoir, Ethelda made a splash wherever she went. For Ethelda, doing the right thing sometimes came with a price–change often does–but Ethelda helped make the world better than how she found it. Splash!

This book will be out July 15th from Sleeping Bear Press & can be preordered by tapping on the image!

I also got the opportunity to do a short Q&A with author Elisa Boxer, which is down below

The Tiny Activist: What drew you to Ethelda’s story?

Elisa Boxer: I had just finished writing my first book, THE VOICE THAT WON THE VOTE, about the mom who helped save suffrage, so I was feeling the power of fearless female unsung heroes! I went in search of more, and discovered Ethelda Bleibtrey. I was immediately drawn in by her rebellious nature, especially how she single-handedly (footedly?) changed the laws so that women no longer had to swim in itchy socks! The fact that she overcame a debilitating disease through swimming was so inspirational to me. And as a former competitive swimmer and diver, I was super impressed by the fact that she was the first American woman to win Olympic gold!

TTA: Did anything surprise you when researching the book?

EB: I was really surprised that there wasn’t more written about Ethelda. I had never heard of her, and once I started researching, I was sure I’d find more books and articles. But there wasn’t much out there, and what little I could find was pretty much repeating the same few facts. And some sources contradicted one another, so I had to dig deeper to sort out the truth.

TTA: What’s your favorite genre (both to read and write!)

EB: I’ve always loved reading nonfiction, for children as well as adults. Especially true stories about strong women. Since most of these stories involve rebellious heroes who were ahead of their time in breaking barriers, taking risks, and harnessing their courage to create lasting change, I find reading and writing female-focused nonfiction incredibly inspirational and motivational.

TTA: Do you have any books that you’re looking forward to reading?

EB: Oh so many! Especially picture books with themes of empathy, compassion and connection. I’m looking forward to several that are coming out over the next couple of months, including books my my Soaring 20s pals: I’LL GO AND COME BACK, by Rajani LaRocca and Sara Palacios, TOGETHER WE RIDE, by Valerie Bolling and Kaylani Juanita, and HURRY LITTLE TORTOISE, TIME FOR SCHOOL, by Carrie Finison and Erin Krann. I’m also very much looking forward to THERE WAS A HOLE, which explores grief, by fellow Sleeping Bear Press creators Adam Lehrhaupt and Carrie O’Neill.

Elisa Boxer

Elisa Boxer is an Emmy-winning journalist and children’s book author. She lives in Scarborough, Maine. Learn more about Elisa here!

Elizabeth Baddeley

Elizabeth Baddeley is the New York Times-bestselling illustrator of I DISSENT: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark. She lives in Kansas City, Missouri. Learn more about Elizabeth here!

more like Splash!

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