By Wendelin Van Draanen
Random House Children’s Books, $16.99, 336 pages
Fans of Wendelin Van Draanen’s middle-grade heroes Shredderman and Sammy Keyes will be happy to know that she is equally comfortable writing for teens. Her most recent novel The Running Dream is firmly set in high school. Gifted athlete Jessica Carlisle is on her way home from a track meet when there’s a terrible accident. She wakes up in the hospital to find out that her right leg has been amputated below the knee. With the help of a prosthetist named Hank, she learns how to walk again. Unfortunately, the road to complete recovery isn’t quite so smooth. It will take a wheelchair-bound friend named Rosa, a handsome guy named Gavin, a specially-designed running leg and a change of attitude to show Jessica how lucky she really is. Van Draanen is both an enthusiastic runner and a smooth, well-practiced writer. The Running Dream is great novel about teen girls, determination and learning to see others for who they really are.
Reviewed by Katie Schneider