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Annette Feels Free

The True Story of Annette Kellerman,

World-Class Swimmer, Fashion Pioneer,

and Real-Life Mermaid



Beach Lane Books

(Simon & Schuster)

(pub.9.13.2022) 40 pages

Author and illustrator: Katie Mazeika

Character: Annette Kellerman


" Annette loved to dance and twirl and pirouette. But when she got sick and had to start wearing braces on her legs, Annette stopped dancing. Until, one day, her dad took her swimming. Annette could finally dance again—in the water! She water danced her way to England, where she performed water ballets, attempted daring dives, and competed in swim races. When she competed against men (and won!), she realized it wasn’t fair that women had to swim in full skirts, so she made her own swimsuit, and fought for the right to wear it.

Experience the journey of an independent and determined young woman, who swam, danced, dove, and designed so she could live her life feeling free."

Tantalizing taste:

" Annette dove into a glass tank at the London Hippodrome in front of hundreds of people. Then she danced in the water. The crowds were astounded. The press dubbed her 'The Diving Venus,' after the Roman goddess who was believed to have risen from the sea."

And something more: Katie Mazeika in the Author's Note writes: "I wouldn't be who I am, nor would I likely be doing this job today, if I hadn't gotten sick decades ago. Had Annette never gotten sick, it's likely that she never would have learned to swim. Through swimming, Annette not only found something she excelled at but she found her voice and her passion, both of which she used to make positive changes in her life and in the lives of countless others."


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