The Running Dream

The Running Dream

4.3 (16,599 ratings on Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 3 business days
When will my order arrive?


The acclaimed author of Flipped delivers a powerful and healing story that's perfect for the millions who watch the Olympics or anyone who's ever thought that something was impossible. Readers will revel in the story of a girl who puts herself back together--and learns to dream bigger than ever before--after she's told she'll never run again. 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 with crutches and a first cyborg-like prosthetic, Jessica feels oddly both in the spotlight and invisible. People who don't know what to say, act like she's not there. Which she could handle better if she weren't now keenly aware that she'd done the same thing herself 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 Winner of the Schneider Family Book Awardshow more

Product details

  • 12-17
  • Hardback | 336 pages
  • 144.78 x 213.36 x 33.02mm | 476.27g
  • Random House USA Inc
  • Random House Reference
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • 0375866671
  • 9780375866678
  • 682,272

Review quote

"I read T"he 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"show more

About Wendelin Van Draanen

WENDELIN VAN DRAANEN recently 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. Van Draanen was a teacher for many years before turning to writing full-time. She is the author of many beloved and award-winning books. For middle graders she's written Swear to Howdy, and the Sammy Keyes mystery series. For teens and tweens, there's Flipped, The Running Dream, Confessions of a Serial Kisser and Runaway. And for younger readers, check out The Shredderman quartet and the Gecko and Sticky. Wendelin Van Draanen lives in Central California with her husband and two sons. Find her on the web at or on Twitter: more

Our customer reviews

An accident involving a junk-hauling truck and a school bus leaves one high school track team member dead and one team member with her leg amputated below the knee. When Jessica wakes up after surgery, she learns that her leg was hopelessly crushed, leaving doctors no choice but to amputate it. At the same time she is facing her own crippling injury, she learns that her fellow teammate, Lucy, didn't survive. Her world looks pretty bleak and hopeless. Because she is young and healthy, Jessica's recovery goes smoothly and she soon heads home from the hospital. Physical therapists have been preparing what remains of her leg for a prosthetic replacement. Her wish is to walk, but she doesn't hold out much hope that she will ever run again. Supportive family and friends work hard to convince her that she needs to be patient and keep a positive outlook. Of course, this is easier said than done. Upon returning to school, Jessica finds herself working hard to catch up on the work she has missed, especially Algebra II. Because of her wheelchair, she sits in the back of the classroom with Rosa, also wheelchair-bound due to cerebral palsy. Jessica discovers that Rose is a math whiz and can explain the concepts even better than the teacher. It's amazing how Jessica never really noticed Rosa before the accident, but now she understands that cerebral palsy is just an outside condition and that there is much more to Rosa on the inside. Meanwhile, medical expenses are challenging the family budget, and when the track coach mentions the idea of a "running" leg for Jessica, the $20,000 expense seems impossible. But, once again, her friends step forward and decide to make Jessica's ability to someday run again their cause. There are bake sales, car washes, and anonymous donations to raise money for a special prosthetic running leg. All this enthusiastic support encourages Jessica to begin dreaming of one day running again. THE RUNNING DREAM by Wendelin Van Draanen explores the heartbreak resulting from a tragic accident. Being a teen is difficult enough, but add to that the loss of a limb and life seems too depressing to go on. Not only is Jessica battling the loss of her running dream, but also the self-esteem issues of how others now view her and how she fits into the world of other healthy, happy teens around her. Van Draanen proves that determination, courage, and empathy for others can sustain hope in what might be considered a hopeless situation. Readers from middle school on up will find this one a rewarding more
by TeensReadToo
Book ratings on Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X