Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Running Dream

I finished The Running Dream, and while I can't rank it as high as Between Shades of Gray and Bluefish, this was a wonderful book. I think it's a particularly good book to give teens, though I would even say this book could stretch down to ages 10 and up. My dad was a star athlete in high school. He played football, basketball, baseball, and ran track. He was going to run in a race with the fastest runners in the state of Utah one winter and was thought to have a good chance of winning when he had a terrible skiing accident. He hit some ice on the slopes and broke his back, leaving him paralyzed below the chest. He could move his arms, but not his trunk.

He was seventeen years old at the time. I was born when he was thirty-three, and though he played wheelchair basketball and tennis, I never knew my dad as an athlete. This book felt very personal to me. I felt like I could glimpse in a small way what that must be like for him. To lose the ability to stand, let alone walk and run.

Jessica, a track star, loses the lower half of her leg in a bus crash. Van Draanen does such a good job of keeping this book positive, dealing realistically with all of the problems, and showing how Jessica's perspective on life changes. It isn't melodramatic, it is sweet. And there is Romance!!! Which is essential. Van Draanen did lots of research for this book, and it shows. Everything, including the fitting of her prosthetic leg feels realistic. And there is something about people who have a real passion for something, even when it's running, which feels like an impossible passion to running-adverse me.

Here's a link to the book trailer on Amazon (Book trailers are like movie trailers, in case you didn't know :)

If this doesn't work, just enter The Running Dream on Amazon's main page and scroll down for the book trailer.

Definitely worth reading!
The Running Dream

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