Friday, October 26, 2012

2013 Truman Possibility 9: The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen

I always have trouble picking up the non-paranormal, out of the ordinary stories.  I just seem to be drawn to the dystopian, paranormal, futuristic, sci-fi, horror, more than realistic fiction.  However thanks to reading to help choose the Trumans, I get exposed to great stories like these that I would probably never read otherwise.
The main character is Jessica, and she's a runner, or she used to be, before the accident that happened right before this book began.  It was a bus accident on a way to a track meet.  But Jessica was lucky, she lived, another girl on the bus, Lucy, died.  However, Jessica doesn't feel likely, because they had to amputate one of her legs.  Running was the thing Jessica loved most in the world.  Now even seeing other people's legs haunts her.  This is her story.  How she deals with getting a prosthetic leg.  When she goes back to school, and the track coach has researched and wants to help Jessica get a running leg prosthetic.  The bad thing, it costs $20,000.  Not only that, but her family is already having to deal with the insurance companies fighting about who is going to pay, and just the regular prosthetic will cost the same amount.  But the track team is determined to raise the money.  And what is even better, they get an anonymous person that promises to match $10,000 if they raise the other half.  But along the way Jessica learns a lot.  She has to take a step out of her world, first when she comes to school in a wheelchair, and the only place in one class that she can sit is at a table in the back with a girl who has cerebral palsy.  Soon Jessica becomes friends with Rosa, who helps her pass math class.  And of course, there's a boy, Gavin.  He can't possibly be into the girl with a stump can he?
It was a good, emotional story.  And a happy ending.  And that's good sometimes, but sometimes it makes me think that the world isn't really that perfect.  And there are some things that just seem to good to be true.  But maybe it's because I'm an adult, and a bit jaded, maybe it will help the kids it is meant for keep their hope and learn to be positive in the face of adversity.
Another good choice, while it is very realistic about what happens to someone going through all of that with the leg, etc., I still stand by my thought that it's a little too happy/perfect ending.

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