Lis Hartel became paralyzed after contracting polio in 1944. Her dreams of riding horses and competing in the sport of dressage were shattered. After months in the hospital, doctors told her she’d never ride again. Lis tried anyway. How do you stay on a horse without using your legs? How do you give the subtle cues needed in dressage with limited mobility? With hard work—and an unlikely horse named Jubilee. After years of training together and creating a new way of communicating, Lis and Jubilee danced into the competition ring, and eventually all the way to the Olympics. Lis Hartel was the first woman with a disability ever to win an Olympic medal, and the first woman to stand equally beside men on the Olympic winner’s podium in any sport.
KT Johnston is the author of Railway Jack: The True Story of an Amazing Baboon, an Amazon “Editor’s Pick” Best Nonfiction for Kids. KT found history a boring subject in school, but now it’s the passion of her writing. She has a degree in biology and conducted animal behavior studies before settling into a corporate career as an analyst. She and her husband are the parents of two grown children and live in Minneapolis. KT hopes to inspire others to be curious about our world and its past, one true story a time.
Anabella Ortiz is an illustrator and designer based in upstate South Carolina. From a young age, she has loved to draw and be creative. She studied illustration in Savannah, Georgia, and turned that passion into a career. Anabella enjoys collaborating with authors to bring their stories to life through illustrations that captivate and inspire. Having a positive impact in the world through illustration is her goal. When she’s not creating, you can find Anabella at a concert, enjoying the outdoors, or petting her two cats.
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 3-5