Award winner: 2012 Schneider Family Book Award honors an author or illustrator for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences.
On the way home from a track meet where she broke her 400 m. record, Jessica's track team's bus is in an accident. One teammate dies and Jessica loses part of her leg, BK (below the knee). As Jessica tries to grapple with the fact she will never run again on two legs, she learns to look beyond herself and her struggles and befriends Rosa, a girl with cerebral palsy.
Ms. Van Draanen handles and writes about tough subjects with finesse.
As a runner I can honestly say she captures how a person who loves to run, lives to run would feel if that skill and ability was snatched away instantly.
Very admirable main characters whom the reader will like instantly.
**Highly, highly recommend.
-Borrowed from the library.
Guided Reading Level: X (6th grade and older)
Grade Level Equivalent: 4.7
Pair this book with: Rules by Cynthia Lord and/or Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper.
Warning/point to discuss: Jessica has a crush on a boy in her class and her "obsession" is mentioned throughout the book. The book, however, is certainly not focused on her love interest. In the end the two share a kiss. Nothing inappropriate is ever mentioned or described.
This book is labeled "YA" (young adult) in our county's library system.