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Running Barefoot

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  8,535 ratings  ·  1,205 reviews
When Josie Jensen, an awkward 13-year-old musical prodigy crashes headlong into new-comer Samuel Yazzie, an 18-year-old Navajo boy full of anger and confusion, an unlikely friendship blooms. Josie teaches Samuel about words, music and friendship, and along the way finds a kindred spirit. Upon graduation, Samuel abandons the sleepy, small town in search of a future and a li ...more
Kindle Edition, 443 pages
Published April 5th 2012
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Popular Answered Questions
Yogesh Jain I think the writer has made it very clear with few lines and events that he never had a girl friend after he left josie. He had been deployed for a…moreI think the writer has made it very clear with few lines and events that he never had a girl friend after he left josie. He had been deployed for a long time and written letters for her all the time and she was always in his mind which makes it very clear that he never had a girl friend ever since he met josie (less)
Karen It comes from a quote very early in the book and describes how Josie feels following the death of her mother.
"Like a shoe that has lost its mate is…more
It comes from a quote very early in the book and describes how Josie feels following the death of her mother.
"Like a shoe that has lost its mate is never worn again, I had lost my matching part and didn't know how to run barefoot."(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.30  · 
Rating details
 ·  8,535 ratings  ·  1,205 reviews

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Oct 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars!

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Running Barefoot was one of those books that was off my radar for so long, that when I finally started it I thought ‘What was I waiting for?’ When I saw that this was Amy Harmon’s first published novel, I was shocked. This does not read like a debut. The writing is fantastic. This is a beautiful story of love, loss, music and most importantly, friendship. It’s the journey of two young people and the strong impact that their unlikely friendship had on their lives.

Josie Jensen is a you
Lady Vigilante (Feifei)
2.5 stars!


When I heard that this book was loosely connected to the upcoming The Law of Moses and featured an unusual couple pairing, I was immediately on board with reading it as I love interconnected stories with a dose of cultural references and quirky, unique characters. But as I have learned the hard way many times, no matter how wonderful a book idea may be, if I cannot get used to the author’s writing style than that glorious premise might as well be nothing to me. And sadly, this is the c
Kristin (KC) - Traveling Sister

*4 Stars*

This is the story of Josie and Samuel — both of whom seem to be running barefoot as they find solace, courage, and friendship in one another.

Josie is a child musical prodigy who was forced to grow up too fast and embody the role of "nurturing caretaker".

Samuel is a half Native American boy who harbors anger and has yet to find his place in life.

When these two lonely souls connect on a bus ride home, a heartwarming friendship forms that will seem fit to stand the test of time. And tim
Amy | Foxy Blogs
RUNNING BAREFOOT is now available for $0.99->
Normally $4.95. Sale is good through Wednesday, November 19th 2014

Running Barefoot is a love story that spans through ten years worth of time and takes the reader through a journey that will leave them appreciating love's splendor.

Josie is a 13 year old girl, who finds herself sitting on the school bus next to Samuel, an 18 year old Navajo boy. A friendship grows between these two lonely
Mar 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
When I turned the last page of Running Barefoot my first thought was that it was such a sweet story. It was also thought provoking. For me that is what is at the heart of Amy Harmon’s writing.

This is a story about two young people, Josie and Samuel, who make a connection during a time in their lives when they are finding their way.

Josie was at the heart of her home. After her mom passed away she was forced to grow up quickly. But at the center of Josie’s life was her love for music.

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She played
Iryna *Book and Sword*
4.25/5 stars

I'm on a quest to read all of Amy Harmon books and I only have like 4 books to go. Which makes me both really proud of myself and really sad - because that means from now on I will have to wait for new books to be released.

I just can't seem to get enough of Amy's writing, of her characters and of the emotions that flow through each and every one of her books.
Speaking of amazing characters - I related to Josie on such a deep level that she immediately shot up to number 2 of my "all
3.5 stars

A sweet little second chance story about childhood friends with some angsty moments thrown in. Once again, I really enjoyed Amy Harmon's writing and her grasp of creating three dimensional characters. My only issue was that it slowed down quite a bit toward the middle and the end felt rushed. All in all, it was still a quick and fairly satisfying read.
Oct 21, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: romance
Review posted on January 27th, 2015.

I never know what to expect when I pick up novel written by Amy Harmon. Sometimes I love them to pieces, sometimes I think they are okay, and there are those with some topics that I don't prefer when choosing what to read next.


One of my favorite books that I read last year is The Law of Moses by Amy Harmon. (You can read my review here.) Everything about that book was perfect - characters, topic, writing, storyline... When I figured out that it's happening
Bonnie Shores
Dec 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance, christian
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails." 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Running Barefoot is a story of true love. The kind of love that accepts, respects and cherishes. The kind of love that is conveyed when Ney
bella ϟ  [ bella farren ]
Jul 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to bella ϟ [ bella farren ] by: ✶Rachelle✶
5/5 stars

This book tore apart my heart and left me a puddle of emotions. I physically could not put this book down until I finished it, I stayed up until the very late hours of the morning crying into my pillow. This book so artfully introduces you to two character who you follow for years, from when they're young teens to when they're adults.

I felt so much love for these characters that I read grow up, and this book was filled with their struggles and real life situations. This was not a book a
Michelle [Helen Geek]
Apr 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Absolutely EVERYONE!
Recommended to Michelle by: Author of A Different Blue
04/27/2013 –

Overall Rating = 10 Stars!
Book Cover / Book Blurb = 4 / 4 = 4 Stars
Writer’s Voice = 5 Stars
Character Development = 5 Stars
Story Appreciation = 5 Stars
Worth the Chili = 5 Stars [$3.99 on Amazon]

This was the second book I’ve read by this WONDERFUL Lady; Amy Harmon. I’ve been chatting a bit with her and her goodness shines through in this book. It has one incredibly beautiful Native American man; Samuel. It also has one of the most interesting heroines I’ve ever read in Josie Jo. Togeth
Oct 20, 2013 rated it really liked it

3.5 stars

I finished another book by this author yesterday and was on a high from it so decided to check out this one. My review will be mostly visual as I just do not have the time to do a full one.

I think my expectations were way too high because I totally loved her other book.

It is still a good story but not as engaging as the other book.

It was too good to be true, too sweet to be reality for too long, so when someone set out to destroy his belief in her, it made more sense to doubt her tha
Julie Carpenter
This is a 10 ⭐+ read for me!

Reread: February 18-19, 2018

I've read this one multiple's one of those go to books for me. I love it. This was my first book and introduction to Amy Harmon's writing and I have been a fan ever since. It is such a beautiful story, very moving and emotional. I'll admit that I usually end up sobbing every time I read it.

Fun little side note, my ancestors lived in the small town this story is set in and actually owned the little store that is mentioned in the

The second book I've read by Amy Harmon, and the second time I cried ugly tears (okay, technically the third time as I cried twice reading Making Faces).
Challenge accepted, Ms. Harmon. Challenge accepted.

So here's the deal: Up until about 50% or so, I was sure this was going to be an almost 5 star read for me, I loved it so much. The multi-dimensional characters, their unlikely yet tender friendship, the heartbreak, the writing, it was (almost) perfect. During the second half, though, somewhere
4/5 stars

“What softened your heart?" I asked softly.
"Good music and a friend”.
"I felt my eyes burn a little and turned from him, blinking quickly to lap up the sting of tears. "Music has incredible power"
"So does friendship," he supplied frankly.”

I don't think there will ever be a time when I stop enjoying Amy Harmon's writing. Once again, she has written a book that was absolutely beautiful, touching and heart-warming to read. The story of Josie and Samuel is so gorgeous and subtle, but inte
Jacob Proffitt
Oct 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
I picked this up based on a friend's review, mostly because it was a cheap kindle buy and I was almost out of lunchtime reading. I'm glad that I did.

I have some concerns with the book that I want to mention, though with the caveat that none of them mattered to me in the least as I was reading—mostly, that so much of the story is deeply unlikely in a lot of ways. This is clearest in the abilities and attributes of the main character, Josie. She has taken on the responsibility for a lot of the car
Tessamari ♥Many Waters...♥ ~ Sweet Spot Book Blog
4.5-4.75 Stars

“True love sufferth long, and is kind; true love envieth not. True love vounteth not itself, is not puffed up. True love does not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil. True love rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in truth. True love beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endoureth all things.” ~ 1st Corinthians, Chapter 13

Tell me that is not one of the most beautiful things ever. I’m completely blown aw
Another beautiful story that will stay with me a long time.
Nov 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone looking for a touching, heartfelt love story
'Running Barefoot' is touching and beautiful love story spanning a lifetime. Josie and Samuel's story began when they were assigned to sit together on the school bus. A seventh grader, Josie is soon enamored with the older boy. Despite a five year age difference, the two develop a strong friendship and fall in love. Neither of them voices, or acts upon, these feelings because of the significant age gap.

Samuel is especially conscious of Josie's comparative youth and the immorality of pursuing an
Nov 24, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
"Human beings are not designed to be alone. Our creator gave us smooth, sensitive skin that craves the warmth of other skin. Our arms seek to hold. Our hands yearn to touch. We are drawn to companionship and affection out of an innate need."

I picked this one up as a freebie and was pleasantly surprised.

This is the story about a young friendship blooming into something more. About two people that hold a deep connection, a connection that is not severed by distance and time and this story is ul
5 stars

This book.
All the feels.

I pretty cried and ugly cried and all around made my family very nervous about my emotional state.
I bought the book and then cried when I saw the cover.
There are lots of tears, but they are good tears. I will love this book until the day I die.


Easy 5 stars

Any book that makes me an emotional, sobbing disaster (for all the right reasons) gets all the stars.

I really liked the development of Josie and Samuel’s relationship but I was bored in quite a few parts. The story was good but it just wasn’t for me unfortunately.
Dec 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
Sweet story with very likable characters. The novel has lots of themes - love, coming of age, and faith to name a few. It's predictable but an enjoyable journey. Amy never disappoints!
This book was so beautiful and touching .. I feel like every time I read Amy Harmon book I gain so much knowledge ! In this case, I was fascinated with all the Navajo culture and legends, and with all the classical music and composers .. Josie was amazing! She was such an inspiring young woman, and Samuel was a fascinating hero <3

Nov 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I want to kick myself for having this book sit on my Kindle, unread for so long! I absolutely loved it! Seriously one of the best books that I've read this year. Amy Harmon is an amazing writer.
Aug 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
He disfrutado mucho de esta historia tan dulce y llena de ternura y música clásica. Lo libros de Amy siempre llevan una gran carga religiosa, es como un sello que la caracteriza, y eso la mayoría de las veces, no termina de gustarme. Esta vez, sin embargo, ese componente religioso (a pesar de ser un rasgo muy pronunciado en la historia) no me ha saturado tanto, y creo que ha sido por esa mezcla que ha hecho con las leyendas del pueblo Navajo, era como debatir sobre dos diferentes formas de enten ...more
Dec 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, loves
Reviewed on: Ashes Books & Bobs.

I don’t know if everyone has moments like this when they read: Your eyes read a line or paragraph and it’s filled with such wisdom, you feel complete ecstasy. You may feel the need to weep and let out a raucous belly-laugh all at once. The only way I can describe this is as a swelling of the soul. Very few authors have this power over me. In fact, I can think of three (living today): Tarryn Fisher, Christine Brae, and Amy Harmon. Their writing describes emotio
Caroline Yamashita
Oct 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5estrelas, fofo
Esse livro começa tão simples. Como a vida de uma criança de repente muda muito ao perder sua mãe, e que aos nove anos já tem que tomar conta de seus irmãos, seu pai e sua casa. Mostra como o coração se abre e reconhece a música como uma forma de salvação, como a leitura pode tomar a vida de uma criança menos solitária....
Aos 13 anos, Muito mais madura do que qualquer criança nessa idade, Josie conhece Samuel. Um jovem de 18 anos que não sabe o que fazer com sua vida, com sua raiva e frustação.
Sep 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I've checked and confirmed that every Amy Harmon book I have read has earned a well deserved 5 star rating from me.

I just adore her style of writing, it is like I'm sat beside her as she tells me the story. Not like she is reading it to me, but she is telling me all about Josie Jo and Samuel Yates. I sit enraptured and enthralled, captivated by the story. I'm there in Levan feeling the autumn breeze.

Just like the music of the book, the story is a symphony from prelude, through every movement, ca
So, I purchased this anthology of seven stories called Romance through the Ages for $.99 (a CRAZY good deal), and Running Barefoot is one of the stories. I hadn't heard of this author or this book, but I was just trying to read through the entire anthology.


WOW. I started reading this and couldn't stop. Life would drag me away, but even when I wasn't reading, I was still thinking about these characters. I usually read novels very quickly, but I read this
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The Challenge Fac...: Nichole & V-Nerd - Running Barefoot 23 19 Jul 29, 2015 04:10PM  
  • The Boots My Mother Gave Me
  • Hoodie
  • In the Fields
  • Holocaust Scream
  • Kyland
  • Jaden Baker
  • Girl Code (Accidentally on Purpose, #4)
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  • After the Sky Fell Down
  • Butterfly Weeds (Butterfly Weeds, #1)
  • Puddle Jumping (Puddle Jumping, #1)
  • Moments of Reckoning
  • Perfectly Hopeless
  • Don't Make Me Beautiful
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  • Second Chance (First Comes Love, #2)
  • Refuge (Refuge, #1)
Amy Harmon is a Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and New York Times Bestselling author. Amy knew at an early age that writing was something she wanted to do, and she divided her time between writing songs and stories as she grew. Having grown up in the middle of wheat fields without a television, with only her books and her siblings to entertain her, she developed a strong sense of what made a good ...more
“What softened your heart?" I asked softly.
"Good music and a friend."
I felt my eyes burn a little and turned from him, blinking quickly to lap up the sting of tears. "Music has incredible power"
"So does friendship," he supplied frankly.”
“And true love suffereth long, and is kind; true love envieth not; true love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil. True love rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; true love beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. True love never faileth…” 15 likes
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