The Running Dream by Wendelin Van DraanenThe Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen

The Running Dream

byWendelin Van Draanen

Paperback | January 10, 2012

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about

When Jessica is told she’ll never run again, she puts herself back together—and learns to dream bigger than ever before. The acclaimed author of Flipped delivers a powerful and healing story.
 
Jessica thinks her life is over when she loses a leg in a car accident. She’s not comforted by the news that she’ll be able to walk with the help of a prosthetic leg. Who cares about walking when you live to run?
 
As she struggles to cope, Jessica feels that she’s both in the spotlight and invisible. People who don’t know what to say act like she’s not there. Jessica’s embarrassed to realize that she’s done the same to a girl with CP named Rosa. A girl who is going to tutor her through all the math she’s missed. A girl who sees right into the heart of her.
 
With the support of family, friends, a coach, and her track teammates, Jessica may actually be able to run again. But that’s not enough for her now. She doesn’t just want to cross finish lines herself—she wants to take Rosa with her.
 
“Inspirational. The pace of Van Draanen’s prose matches Jessica’s at her swiftest. Readers will zoom through the book just as Jessica blazes around the track. A lively and lovely story.” —Kirkus Reviews
When Wendelin Van Draanen ran her first marathon, she was struck by the people with physical handicaps who were also running and was inspired to write this book about overcoming adversity with courage and grace and strength.   She is the author of many beloved and award-winning books. For middle graders, she’s written Swear to Howdy an...
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Title:The Running DreamFormat:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.75 inPublished:January 10, 2012Publisher:Random House Children's BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0375866280

ISBN - 13:9780375866289

Reviews

Rated 3 out of 5 by from Cheesy Track star Jessica loses her leg after a horrible accident and learns to walk and then run again. For being such a heavy topic, I didn’t feel the sense of urgency that comes with a tragedy like Jessica’s. Everything seemed to come together too easily and she really didn’t deal with too many trials and tribulations. It was heartwarming when Rosa was added in to the story but just remained too cheesy for me.
Date published: 2017-11-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from wonderful What a wonderful, wonderful story. it was easy to read, but also easy to read quickly, because it was easy to not want to put it down. it was uplifting in so many ways and I loved all the characters. I loved the progression of the story. I loved it.
Date published: 2016-01-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great, inspiring, uplifting What a fabulous book! A great inspiration for not only athletes but anyone overcoming adversity. Loved it!
Date published: 2011-12-02

Read from the Book

Chapter 1 My life is over. Behind the morphine dreams is the nightmare of reality. A reality I can't face. I cry myself back to sleep wishing, pleading, praying that I'll wake up from this, but the same nightmare always awaits me. "Shhh," my mother whispers. "It'll be okay." But her eyes are swollen and red, and I know she doesn't believe what she's saying. My father--now that's a different story. He doesn't even try to lie to me. What's the use? He knows what this means. My hopes, my dreams, my life . . . it's over. The only one who seems unfazed is Dr. Wells. "Hello there, Jessica!" he says. I don't know if it's day or night. The second day or the first. "How are you feeling?" I just stare at him. What am I supposed to say, "Fine"? He inspects my chart. "So let's have a look, shall we?" He pulls the covers off my lap, and I find myself face to face with the truth. My right leg has no foot. No ankle. No shin. It's just my thigh, my knee, and a stump wrapped in a mountain of gauze. My eyes flood with tears as Dr. Wells removes the bandages and inspects his handiwork. I turn away, only to see my mother fighting back tears of her own. "It'll be okay," she tells me, holding tight to my hand. "We'll get through this." Dr. Wells is maddeningly cheerful. "This looks excellent, Jessica. Nice vascular flow, good color . . . you're already healing beautifully." I glance at the monstrosity below my knee. It's red and bulging at the end. Fat staples run around my stump like a big ugly zipper, and the skin is stained dirty yellow. "How's the pain?" he asks. "Are you managing okay?" I wipe away my tears and nod, because the pain in my leg is nothing compared to the one in my heart. None of their meds will make that one go away. He goes on, cheerfully. "I'll order a shrinker sock to control the swelling. Your residual limb will be very tender for a while, and applying the shrinker sock may be uncomfortable at first, but it's important to get you into one. Reducing the swelling and shaping your limb is the first step in your rehabilitation." A nurse appears to re-bandage me as he makes notes in my chart and says, "A prosthetist will be in later today to apply it." Tears continue to run down my face. I don't seem to have the strength to hold them back. Dr. Wells softens. "The surgery went beautifully, Jessica." He says this like he's trying to soothe away reality. "And considering everything, you're actually very lucky. You're alive, and you still have your knee, which makes a huge difference in your future mobility. BK amputees have it much easier than AK amputees." "BK? AK?" my mom asks. "I'm sorry," he says, turning to my mother. "Below knee. Above knee. In the world of prosthetic legs it's a critical difference." He prepares to leave. "There will obviously be an adjustment period, but Jessica is young and fit, and I have full confidence that she will return to a completely normal life." My mother nods, but she seems dazed. Like she's wishing my father was there to help her absorb what's being said. Dr. Wells flashes a final smile at me. "Focus on the positive, Jessica. We'll have you up and walking again in short order." This from the man who sawed off my leg. He whooshes from the room leaving a dark, heavy cloud of the unspoken behind. My mother smiles and coos reassuringly, but she knows what I'm thinking. What does it matter? I'll never run again. Chapter 2 I am a runner. That's what I do. That's who I am. Running is all I know, or want, or care about. It was a race around the soccer field in third grade that swept me into a real love of running. Breathing the sweet smell of spring grass. Sailing over dots of blooming clover. Beating all the boys. After that, I couldn't stop. I ran everywhere. Raced everyone. I loved the wind across my cheeks, through my hair. Running aired out my soul. It made me feel alive. And now? I'm stuck in this bed, knowing I'll never run again. Chapter 3 The prosthetist is stocky and bald, and he tells me to call him Hank. He tries to talk to me about a fake leg, but I make him stop. I just can't listen to this. He gets the nurse to put a new bandage on my leg. One that's thinner. With less gauze. I'm cold. The room's cold. Everything feels cold. I want to cover up, but Hank is getting ready to put on the shrinker sock. It's like a long, toeless tube sock. He pulls it through a short length of wide PVC pipe, then folds the top part of the sock back over the pipe. I don't understand what he's going to do with it, and I don't care. Until he slips the pipe over my stump. "Oh!" I gasp as pressure and pain shoot up my leg. "I'm sorry," Hank says, transferring the sock from the pipe onto my leg as he pulls the pipe off. "We're almost done." Half the tube sock is now dangling from my stump. Hank slides a small ring up the dangling end, then stretches out the rest of the sock and doubles it up over the ring and over my stump. There's pressure. Throbbing. But Hank assures me it'll feel better soon. "The area is swollen," he tells me. "Pooling with blood. The shrinker sock will help reduce the swelling and speed your recovery. Once the wound is healed and the volume of your leg is reduced, we can fit you with a preparatory prosthesis." "How long will that take?" my mother asks. Her voice starts out shaky, but she tries to steady it. Hank whips out a soft tape measure and circles the end of my stump. "That's hard to say."From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

"I read The Running Dream on my way to the World Championships. I nearly missed my flight for reading it and inhaled it before I touched down. It's a truly touching story that feels very real."--Katrin Green, Paralympic Gold Medalist"This heart-touching story is a helpful reminder that we must appreciate each day and each blessing. When I go around "Rigor Mortis Bend" and think of Jessica, my legs do not feel nearly as tired anymore."--Jordan Hasay, four-time USA Track & Field Jr. Women's Champion"Van Draanen's extensive research into both running and amputees pays dividends--readers will truly feel what's it like to walk (or run) a mile (or 10) in Jessica's shoes."--Booklist"Inspirational. The pace of Van Draanen's prose matches Jessica's at her swiftest. Readers will zoom through the book just as Jessica blazes around the track. A lively and lovely story."--Kirkus Reviews"Van Draanen delivers an abundance of interesting medical detail and emotional authenticity in this accessible and inspirational novel."--The Horn Book Magazine