I’m about a month into The Hub Challenge and have just finished my fifth book.
The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen was fantastic. We experience the year after a high school track star, Jessica, gets into an accident and has a leg amputated. If reading that sentence gives you the willies, you can imagine what Jessica’s character goes through. We see Jessica’s progress from anger, hopelessness, and despair as she at first comes to grips with her new reality. Then we see her slowly adjust, find hope, and effect change in her town.
Jessica does have a few assets to help her through this journey – a mega-supportive best friend, loving parents, a track coach who doesn’t give up on her, new friends, and an incredible work ethic. A year ago I heard good things from other librarians about this book, but I passed it over. I’m glad I gave it another chance. This year it’s on the Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults list, and last year it won the 2012 Schneider Family Book Award.