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Wednesday, August 29, 2018
WORLD'S TALLEST WOMAN: THE GIANTESS of SHELBYVILLE HIGH by Rita Rose
Published in 2008 by Hawthorne Publishing.
Indiana native Sandy Allen (1955-2008) was the tallest woman in the world at 7 feet 7 inches tall. This book is an entertaining, but fictionalized, version of her years at Shelbyville High School in Shelbyville, Indiana.
Rita Rose wrote the book with the full knowledge of Sandy Allen after having interviewed her towards the end of her life.
Written as a coming of age YA book, the book is centered around Roseann, a high school student who has moved from the north side of Indianapolis to Shelbyville, a small town of less than 20,000 a little more than a half hour's drive from Indianapolis. Roseann is working hard to fit in and eventually finds a spot on the high school newspaper.
She couldn't help but notice Sandy Allen, easily the tallest person she has ever seen at more than 7 feet tall. She is mercilessly teased by a group of boys no matter where she goes and is clearly experiencing some physical issues, despite the fact that she is on the high school basketball team.
Roseann decides to interview Sandy in an attempt to ease the teasing by letting people know more about her. In the process, they become friends and Roseann learns a lot more about Sandy's horribly difficult home life (which she keeps out of the paper, of course).
This was an interesting and quite compelling read. Sandy Allen was a local celebrity at the end of her life, having moved back to Indiana after having made a living making appearances as a Guinness World Record holder so I found this look into her early life interesting. It makes you appreciate her kind nature (everyone that met her always said that she was very nice).
I rate this book 5 stars out of 5 and it can be found on Amazon.com here: WORLD'S TALLEST WOMAN: THE GIANTESS of SHELBYVILLE HIGH by Rita Rose.