Annette Feels Free: The True Story of Annette Kellerman, World-Class Swimmer, Fashion Pioneer, and Real-Life Mermaid

by Katie Mazeika (Author) Katie Mazeika (Illustrator)

Reading Level: 4th − 5th Grade

Discover the incredible true story of "The Original Mermaid," Annette Kellerman, a girl who wanted to dance, swim, and feel free--and who grew into a woman who fought for the right to do just that!

Annette loved to dance and twirl and pirouette. But when she got sick and had to start wearing braces on her legs, Annette stopped dancing. Until, one day, her dad took her swimming. Annette could finally dance again--in the water! She water danced her way to England, where she performed water ballets, attempted daring dives, and competed in swim races. When she competed against men (and won!), she realized it wasn't fair that women had to swim in full skirts, so she made her own swimsuit, and fought for the right to wear it.

Experience the journey of an independent and determined young woman, who swam, danced, dove, and designed so she could live her life feeling free.

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It's an enthralling introduction to a remarkable woman, and the splashy, stylized illustrations bring her vividly to life with a real sense of movement and play, while detailed endnotes and fabulous photographs round out the already intriguing story.
Katie Mazeika
Katie Mazeika is an author and illustrator with a BFA from the Columbus College of Art and Design. When she isn't in the studio, she likes to spend time at the theater, in her garden, or getting lost in a good book. She is the author-illustrator of picture book biographies including Annette Feels Free and Beulah Has a Hunch!. She lives in Ohio with her family and two dogs.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Beach Lane Books
Publication date
September 20, 2022
BISAC categories
JNF007120 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Biography & Autobiography | Women
JNF054150 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Sports & Recreation | Water Sports
JNF024070 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Health & Daily Living | Physical Impairments
Library of Congress categories
Women swimmers
Athletes with disabilities
Kellerman, Annette

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