The Running Dream

In YA Book Reviews on September 2, 2016 at 6:51 pm


by Wendelin Van Draanen

YA Realistic Fiction/©2011/332 pages/Recommended for 7th Grade+

Publisher’s Info (Courtesy of Goodreads):

An award-winning and inspiring novel. When Jessica’s dreams are shattered, she puts herself back together—and learns to dream bigger than ever before.

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

Winner of the Schneider Family Book Award

My Thoughts:

Memorable characters, engaging plot, beautifully written, and incredibly inspiring – this book has it all. The story centers on Jessica and her adjustment to having lost her leg, but it is so much more than that.There are many life lessons embedded in the plot, and they will stay with the reader long after the last page is turned.  This book is definitely a great addition to the middle school library.

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

Companion Books:

Flipped by Wendell Van Draanen

Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper

Favorite Quotes:

“I wonder about the deep, wide abyss between good intentions and concrete action, and how many of them leapt across it.”

 “It’s to have people see her instead of her condition. That’s all that anybody with a disability wants. Don’t sum up the person based on what you see, or what you don’t understand; get to know them.” 

“It’s disturbing how fast weeds take root in my garden of worthiness.
They’re so hard to pull.
And grow back so easily.”



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