Surfer of the Century: The Life of Duke Kahanamoku
By Ellie Crowe
Illustrated by Richard Waldrep
Hardcover: out of stock
Growing up in Honolulu with the Pacific Ocean as his backyard, Duke Kahanamoku learned to swim and surf at a young age. By his early twenties, Duke's lightning-fast swimming won him a place on the 1912 United States Olympic team and a gold medal in the 100-meter freestyle race. Over the years Duke struggled with racism and financial troubles, but by the end of his twenty-year Olympic career, he was a six-time medal winner.
Although a swimming champion, Duke's passion was surfing. He traveled the world, introducing surfboarding to Australia and the east and west coasts of the United States. Considered the father of modern surfing, Duke spread his love of the ocean and Hawai’i wherever he went.
Throughout his life Duke Kahanamoku was beloved for his modesty, sportsmanship, and amazing skill in the water. Today he remains a legendary waterman and an inspiration to all to live life with aloha.
aloha: love, kindness, grace, affection, compassion; also traditional Hawaiian greeting or farewell
For further exploration of themes and connections, pair these field trip and activity ideas with Surfer of the Century.
About the Creators
has written several children's books, as well as guidebooks to Hawai'i. Crowe first heard of Duke Kahanamoku while living in Australia. Moving to Hawai'i, she found Duke was a hero there too. "He is a great role model and I wanted to introduce him to young readers today," says Crowe. She lives in Honolulu with her husband and their three children. Visit her online at elliecrowe.com.
is an award-winning illustrator who has created images for editorial, publishing, advertising, and corporate clients, including U.S. News and World Report, the Washington Post, and Parker Brothers. His paintings honoring the Olympic Games, American music, and history have appeared on U.S. postage stamps. He lives in Sparks, Maryland.
About This Title
Texas Bluebonnet Masterlist
Texas Library Association (TLA)
School Library Journal
Carter G. Woodson Award
National Council for the Social Studies
Distinguished Children's Biography List
Cleveland Public Library
The Bloomsbury Review
Kiriyama Prize, Notable Children's Books
Pacific Rim Voices
Texas Woman's University
Once Upon a World Children's Book Award
The Simon Wiesenthal Center and Museum of Tolerance Library and Archives
Interest Level:Grades 2 - 8
Reading Level:Grades 3 - 4
Nonfiction, Middle Grade, United States History, Sports, Identity/Self Esteem/Confidence, Responsibility, Overcoming Obstacles, Mentors, History, Dreams & Aspirations, Discrimination, Childhood Experiences and Memories, Biography/Memoir, Asian/Asian American Interest, Poverty, Sports History, Leadership, Optimism/Enthusiasm, Persistence/Grit, Respect/Citizenship, Self Control/Self Regulation, Pride
Part of These Collections
Asian American English Collection Grades 3-6, Asian American English Collection Middle School, Asian American English Collection High School, Biography and Memoir Middle School, Nonfiction High School Collection, Diverse Background English Collection Middle School, Diverse Background English Collection High School, English Guided Reading Level T, Fluent Dual Language , Fluent English, Biography and Memoir Grades 3-6, Appendix B Diverse Collection Grades 3-6, Nonfiction Collection Grades 3-6, Asian Pacific American Heritage Collection , Athletes and Sports, High-Low Books for Preteens (Grades 4-6), High-Low Books for Teens (Middle and High School) Nonfiction Collection Middle School,