The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book rightly deserved the Schneider Family Book Award which honors the disability experience in children's and young adult literature. The author is also committed to reading writing and running. Jessica is a normal 16 year old finishing a race one moment and as she rides on her school bus going home, disaster occurs. An uninsured truck driver hurdles down a hill into the bus, killing a classmate and depriving Jessica of her leg. Not onlyis she a runner and racer; she is a winner and while losing her leg causes her all kinds of hurt, anxiety, and insecurity; Jessica is the kind of person who always tries to be positive, works hard to be the best and cares about others. This book was so good on so many levels; Jessica has great friends but Fiona is truly a best friend who is willing to wait for Jessica to come around, support her when she is down and find a way for the track team to get Jessica back in action with a prosthetic leg. Jessica's family is supportive; her dog, Sherlock accompanies her on runs and the most supportive person is her coach, Kyro. Kyro has winners on his team because each runner knows what it takes to do their best and they strive to be winners. Since Jessica had to use a wheelchair when she returned to school, she was placed with Rosa who has cerebral palsy. From Rosa (who Jessica barely acknowledged before)Jessica learns how to reach out and help Rosa feel the wind flying on her face and in her hair. Gavin has been her crush for two years now and he contacts Jessica about doing a story about her in the school newspaper. It is because of Jessica's can do attitude that a friendship develops between them, will there be a romance too? You will have to read this emotional book to find out!
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