Nonfiction Monday is hosted today by Laurasalas Writing the World for Kids .
For Nonfiction Monday -- "Tillie the terrible Swede : how one woman, a sewing needle, and a bicycle changedhistory" by Sue Stauffacher with illustrations by Sarah McMenemy.
Bicycles have come a long way since the high-wheelers of the 1890s and so has the sport of cycling. Stauffacher shares the story of Swedish immigrant Tillie Anderson, one intrepid cyclist who was far ahead of her time. Tillie began her life in America as a seamstress, but soon became enamored of cycling. Tillie ignored societal conventions that dictated that females limit themselves to a gentle, ladylike circle or figure eight. She longed for speed and made up her mind to attempt the new sport of bicycle racing. She devised an exercise program to strengthen her muscles and develop her endurance. Skirts were not convenient for a lady determined to race so she designed and sewed her own cycling costumes. During her short career, Tillie established numerous cycling records and demonstrated that a woman could be a lady and active thus setting a new standard for women of her day.