A Marathon of Her Own – The Diary of Sophia Krikonis, by Irini Savvides

We are here. Finally in Australia. The ship arrived in Fremantle this morning, later than scheduled due to the bad weather. After the storms we were weary and although normally the immigration officers would board the ship first, we had had such a rough time of it that they made an exception and let us off to recover a little.

When Sophia comes to Australia from Greece to start anew life, she finds that seasickness on the voyage is the least fo her problems. Everything in Australia is different and she thinks she will never get used to it.

At school Sophia is teased and isolated by the other students and, rather than helping her, the teacher joins in, angry that Sophia has not learnt English. It seems all that Sophia has is her love of running and, with the Olympics about to start in Melbourne, the prospect of seeing her hero win the marathon. This love of running could be the thing that turns things Sophia’s way.

A Marathon of her Own is a diary format story which provides a deep insight into the migrant struggle from a child’s perspective as well as an exploration of the Australia of 1956.

Part of Scholastic’s My Story series, this is a tale which will both inform and entertain, with readers cheering Sophia on as she runs a marathon of a different sort to overcome prejudice, loneliness and dislocation.

A Marathon of Her Own: The Diary of Sophia Krikonis, by Irini Savvides
Scholastic, 2004