The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen

IMG_0491 A Schneider Family Book Award winner, The Running Dream is a beautifully woven book, which tells the story and struggles of right leg amputee, Jessica Carlisle. She was a runner, a champion, until an accident strikes that changes her running dreams forever, or so she believes. As Jessica attempts to rebuild her life with a prosthetic limb, she is slowly fading into a fog of self-pity. Stairs are the new enemy, and taking a shower has now become more challenging than running a marathon. And then, suddenly, Jessica is reflecting on her behavior when she meets Rosa, a girl with cerebral palsy who still excels academically, and doesn’t let her condition weaken her. Inspired by her new friend and math tutor, Jessica’s dream to run again seems much closer than before, especially with the help of modern prosthetic limb technology, and deep determination.

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Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen

imagesIt’s the stereotypical beginning that disappoints me. Julie is obsessed with Bryce, who has no interest in love- especially with a girl like Julie. She is annoying, selfishly smart…but only to Bryce. To Julie, Bryce is wonderful, breathtaking, with those cold, icy blue eyes. Alas, Julie’s years of chasing her beloved Bryce come to a pitiful, but unexpectedly shocking halt when she realizes he is terribly egocentric. Bryce, suddenly looking at the world with a different perspective, really sees Julie’s selflessness and beauty. I appreciate the author for so easily differing the tone in each characters voice, and their inner feelings. One may perceive this book to be exclusively for girls, but I strongly disagree. Even boys may find Bryce and his troubles relatable. There are books written simply for the pleasure of entertainment, this one, in my opinion, is one of them.