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The Running Dreamby Wendelin Van Draanen
Synopses & Reviews
Winner of the 2012 Schneider Family Book Award
Jessica thinks her life is over when she loses a leg in a car accident. She's not comforted by the news that she'll be able to walk with the help of a prosthetic leg. Who cares about walking when you live to run?
As she struggles to cope with crutches and a first cyborg-like prosthetic, Jessica feels oddly both in the spotlight and invisible. People who don't know what to say, act like she's not there. Which she could handle better if she weren't now keenly aware that she'd done the same thing herself to a girl with CP named Rosa. A girl who is going to tutor her through all the math she's missed. A girl who sees right into the heart of her.
With the support of family, friends, a coach, and her track teammates, Jessica may actually be able to run again. But that's not enough for her now. She doesn't just want to cross finish lines herself—she wants to take Rosa with her.
"When track star Jessica loses her leg in a school bus accident, she is devastated that she will never run again. After weaning herself off painkillers (upon which she's become dependent) and learning to walk with crutches, she returns to school at the urging of her supportive best friend. When her track coach shows her videos of amputees running on prostheses, she's riveted at the thought of reclaiming her passion — if, that is, her team can raise the ,000 needed to buy the leg. A tender subplot about Jessica's friendship with a girl with cerebral palsy seems scripted to underscore the message about seeing beyond disabilities ('Don't sum up the person based on what you see, or what you don't understand; get to know them,' Jessica says). But Van Draanen sensitively conveys Jessica's struggles, from getting into the shower to her fear that no guys will be attracted to her. Jessica's gradual acceptance of her new life's limitations and her discovery of its unanticipated gifts should satisfy readers, who will root for her as she learns to run again. Ages 12 — up. (Jan.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
About the Author
WENDELIN VAN DRAANEN recently ran her first marathon. She was struck by the people with physical handicaps who were also running and was inspired to write this book about overcoming adversity with courage and grace and strength.
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