A Running Book Per Month: “The Running Dream” finished; “Once A Runner” next

For April in my A Running Book Per Month series, I read the first fiction book about running that I can ever remember reading — certainly in recent memory. And I really enjoyed it.

"The Running Dream" by Wendelin Van Draanen. (Vanessa Junkin photo)
“The Running Dream” by Wendelin Van Draanen. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

The book was Wendelin Van Draanen’s “The Running Dream.” I had to venture into the young adult section of the Wicomico Public Library for the book, but that really wasn’t much of a problem, as I am a 24-year-old who sometimes gets told I look young. And who says adults can’t read books geared toward teens?

When “The Running Dream” begins, the protagonist, high school student and extremely fast runner Jessica Carlisle, has already lost her leg in a school bus crash. Readers follow her journey from despair over losing a limb that leads into learning to cope.

I won’t go into too many details in case you want to read it, but it does involve prosthetic legs, a topic I found very interesting given how many people had to get prostheses following the Boston Marathon bombing. This book was written in 2011, before that tragedy took place.

I also found it cool that the author was a runner herself — something Van Draanen noted in the acknowledgments at the end. Although of course I never dealt with anything similar to losing a limb, the way that she wrote the book did bring me back to my days of high school track meets. I was nowhere near as fast as Jessica.

The book was written with short sentences and short chapters that kept me reading, and I found the premise of the book very unique. I didn’t feel like the text was dumbed-down for a younger audience; I think it’s a book that adults can enjoy.

The book I plan to read during May is “Once A Runner,” by John L. Parker Jr., also a work of fiction. Since I write nonfiction articles for my full-time job and also read a good amount of news articles, it can be nice to take a break and read fiction.

"Once A Runner," by John L. Parker Jr. (Vanessa Junkin photo)
“Once A Runner,” by John L. Parker Jr. (Vanessa Junkin photo)

“Once A Runner” was featured on Competitor’s post “Five Running Books You Should Be Reading.” 

Rather than posting A Running Book Per Month entries on the first day of each month, I’m also going to start posting on the first Monday of each month.

Catch up on previous entries in the series here.