Photo of Meet Tom Longboat (Scholastic Canada Biography)

Meet Tom Longboat (Scholastic Canada Biography)

By Elizabeth MacLeod, Illustrated by Mike Deas
Power of Story: Indigenous Stories
ISBN: 9781443163910 Pages: 32 Ages: 6-10

About this book

Meet Tom Longboat, the Onondaga runner who broke world records . . . on his own terms!

On April 19, 1907, a hundred thousand people lined up to watch the eighth running of the Boston Marathon. At the start of the race, more than one hundred runners surged forward, and at the end, Tom Longboat won it in a record-breaking 2 hours,24 minutes and 24 seconds. He became the most famous runner in the world, yet faced scrutiny and criticism of every part of his life, from his revolutionary training techniques to his Indigenous heritage.

This picture book will introduce young readers to a brave and fascinating man whose legacy as Canada's foremost distance runner continues to be recognized to this day.

This new biography series features accessible text, full-colour illustrations, with historical notes and timelines that provide even more information on Tom Longboat's background and incredible accomplishments.


"A fantastic way to introduce one of Canada’s truly great sports heroes to young readers. This amazing Indigenous athlete broke both world records and stereotypes and MacLeod and Deas bring history to life in this engaging biography." (Meet Tom Longboat) — The Globe and Mail

Author Elizabeth MacLeod has an indisputable flair for storytelling, and biographical details are relayed in a readable and relatable manner. As a child, “Tom had many chores to do, but he still made time for fun. He liked to chase after the cows.” He also escaped abuses at residential school by literally running away. Mike Deas’s energetic, colourful illustrations are packed with early 20th-century details, including bespoke period fashions, and panoramic views of streets lined with marathon spectators. Speech bubbles extend the text and capture fickle public attitudes, from the congratulatory cheers of “You’re top dog, Tom!” at the height of his celebrity, to gossipy sneers when Longboat retired from racing and found a job as a street cleaner in Depression-era Toronto. Longboat’s honest assuredness and resolve remained undeterred: “What a sky! I love working outdoors.” (Meet Tom Longboat) — Quill & Quire

Praise for Scholastic Canada Biography:

"The story is fast paced, with dramatic, emotion-filled scenes. Highly recommended." (Meet Viola Desmond) — CM.


See more about the Scholastic Canada Biography series.

Scholastic Canada Biography: Meet Tom Longboat Teacher's Guide

More books by Elizabeth MacLeod

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