In the extensive review, the Times praises, “…the story has a winning momentum, to go with its pleasing evocations of the symphony of running. Asher’s fine descriptions — of feet on the track, of an uphill run, of pushing beyond one’s initial limits — are a call to get off the couch and onto the road. The season pushes toward its finish, including a climactic race scene delivered with suspense and a dazzling plot twist, as Joseph finds support from his rascal of a grandfather, who provides some warm humor, and from teammates who are faster — and slower.”
Full text below. This review is online here and will be in the print issue this Sunday, August 27th.
By Diana Harmon Asher
240 pp. Amulet Books.
(Middle grade; ages 8 - 12)
For nearly all of us who see ourselves (wishfully or otherwise) as athletes, competitive sport leaves us behind long before we’re ready. Yet we often find meaning in memories of competition from years past, and we hope our children will find the same. There is, and will always be, a competitiveness to life, and a ready metaphor in how that competition plays out in sports. And whether you’re an athlete or not, such themes carry a lasting power.
So why is the sport perhaps most naturally suited to teaching lessons, the very first sport most of us ever practice — running — so terribly overlooked when it comes to stories? Why aren’t there more tales about the trials and glories of track?