by Wendelin Van Draanen
Imagine you had just set a school record for running, you were excited that you had beat your own time. Imagine that happiness and joy. But then imagine that on your way home there was a horrific accident and you've just woken up in a hospital bed. Minus one leg. For Jessie it was all too real. Now she has to learn to live with the results of that accident, realizing that she's still the lucky one, one of her teammates died. She'll have to learn to live with her disability. A disability that might just make her realize more of her life than she ever would have otherwise.
The Running Dream realistically portrays how a girl might cope with such a sudden loss of a limb. Jessie at times comes off as a bit selfish, but it's hard to fault her for that since she's going through such a traumatic time. One of the more interesting things the book touched on was the insurance issues that inevitably follow an accident like this, and the stresses that puts on relationships. The relationship Jesse develops with Rosa puts an inspirational spin on the book that is sure to touch anyone who reads it. It's ultimately a story about rising about your challenges and persevering.
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Age Level: 7th Grade