Author Megan Hoyt and illustrator Iacopo Bruno bring to light the inspiring, true story of Gino Bartali, a beloved Italian cyclist and secret champion in the fight for Jewish lives during World War II.
Gino Bartali pedalled across Italy for years, winning one cycling race after another, including the 1938 Tour de France. Gino became an international sports hero! But the next year, World War II began, and it changed everything. Soldiers marched into Italy. Tanks rolled down the cobbled streets of Florence. And powerful leaders declared that Jewish people should be arrested.
To the entire world, Gino Bartali was merely a champion cyclist. But Gino’s greatest achievement was something he never told a soul – that he secretly worked with the Italian resistance to save hundreds of Jewish men, women, and children, and others, from certain death, using the one thing no authority would question: his bicycle.
This compelling nonfiction picture book for elementary-age readers offers a unique perspective on World War II history. It’s a strong choice for units on the war and for biographies of lesser-known heroes in history and in sports.