Summary

Fast Girls is a compelling, thrilling look at what it takes to be a female Olympian in pre-war America.... Brava to Elise Hooper for bringing these inspiring heroines to the wide audience they so richly deserve.” (Tara Conklin, New York Times best-selling author of The Last Romantics and The House Girl)

Acclaimed author Elise Hooper explores the gripping, real-life history of female athletes, members of the first integrated women’s Olympic team, and their journeys to the 1936 summer games in Berlin, Nazi Germany. 

Perfect for listeners who love untold stories of amazing women, such as The Only Woman in the Room, Hidden Figures, and The Lost Girls of Paris

In the 1928 Olympics, Chicago’s Betty Robinson competes as a member of the first-ever women’s delegation in track and field. Destined for further glory, she returns home feted as America’s golden girl until a nearly fatal airplane crash threatens to end everything. 

Outside of Boston, Louise Stokes, one of the few black girls in her town, sees competing as an opportunity to overcome the limitations placed on her. Eager to prove that she has what it takes to be a champion, she risks everything to join the Olympic team.

From Missouri, Helen Stephens, awkward, tomboyish, and poor, is considered an outcast by her schoolmates, but she dreams of escaping the hardships of her farm life through athletic success. Her aspirations appear impossible until a chance encounter changes her life. 

These three athletes will join with others to defy society’s expectations of what women can achieve. As tensions bring the United States and Europe closer and closer to the brink of war, Betty, Louise, and Helen must fight for the chance to compete as the fastest women in the world amid the pomp and pageantry of the Nazi-sponsored 1936 Olympics in Berlin.  

©2020 Elise Hooper (P)2020 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic reviews

“Will hurl you down the track of American history and have you rooting for some of the toughest underdogs ever to aspire to Olympic gold. Three of the fastest girls in history finally get their day in the sun, and we get to bask in their glory. I couldn’t put this one down.” (Kerri Maher, author of The Kennedy Debutante and The Girl in White Gloves

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  • Johnny
  • 24-08-20

Love the historical aspect

Great story! Really really brings into perspective how far women have come in 100 years. We need to understand our history and be thankful that our nation continues to evolve.

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  • Joan Ann Smith
  • 16-09-20

Inspiration for Life's Challenges

Amazing collection of inspirational stories of gifted athletic women. Team tenacity in Olympic 1936 competition!

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  • Korb Family
  • 07-08-20

So good.

Should be required reading for everyone. Amazing story that is inspirational. Excellent audible. Highly recommend.

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  • Dyan R.
  • 25-07-20

Fast Girls

Love the story love the use of actual newspaper stories., but could have use a good editor and reduced overly descriptive sentences on unimportant points

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 16-07-20

Good Look into Start of Women's Athletic History

Enjoyable and informative. Learned a lot about attitudes towards women athletes. We have come a long way.