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The Running Dream

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  28,462 ratings  ·  4,155 reviews
An award-winning and inspiring novel.  When Jessica's dreams are shattered, she puts herself back together—and learns to dream bigger than ever before.

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 sh
Hardcover, 339 pages
Published January 11th 2011 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 4.30  · 
Rating details
 ·  28,462 ratings  ·  4,155 reviews

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Whitney Atkinson
Apr 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
I can't believe I listened to this entire thing in one night. It was so addicting. My favorite thig about it is that it's not just some story about Jessica recovering and being able to run again, but it has this great moral about disabilities in general that you should never judge anyone based off of their looks. I think the fact that this book incorporated and highlighted a character with cerebral palsy was incredible and eye-opening.
Overall this book had an awesome moral and it exceeded my ex
Aug 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I was nervous about reading The Running Dream. On the one hand, Wendelin Van Draanen has become one of my favorite YA authors over the past few months, thanks to her brilliant Sammy Keyes YA mystery series. On the other, I've come to be wary of novels featuring kids with amputeeism--thanks, in part, to books like Hannah Tinti's The Good Thief, which stars a kid without a hand but reads as if the author has never talked to a person without a hand in her life. So I'd been deliberately avoiding Van ...more
2013 F.A.B. Bookclub pick # I.❤️. F.A.B.

Yeah, I’m pretty sure this is the second time I’ve read this book. This is why I use good reads. I like reading new books, not re-reading (unless, of course it’s an amazing book). This is a story about a teen who loses her leg in an accident. She’s a runner and the story follows her on her journey to run again. She’s very whiney, like most teens are. It was okay. I definitely wouldn’t read it a third time though! Shelving this as officially read!
Jun 17, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook, z2018, ya
The main reason why I wanted to read this was for the friendship that I thought would develop between Jessica, a girl who just lost her leg in an accident, and Rosa, a girl who Jessica had previously ignored because she didn't know what to say to her because she had CP. I guess I thought I was going to get a beautiful friendship that ended up being powerful and genuine but unfortunately, I didn't get that. I thought that their friendship was very shallow and I wasn't really impressed. I think th ...more
Jul 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
There was some books that a 5-star is not enough to convey how amazing they are. This is one of the books. I wish I can give it six stars, ten stars....because this book is up there on a caliber by itself.

For me, what makes this book amazing is how real the story was told. This story is an emotional one and actually Wendelin van DRaanen can easily exploit the story to make us, the reader, sob and cry and feel sorry for the character. But, she didn't do it.
She told the story as it is, nothing les
Jun 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
5 STARS. OH MY GOSH I LOVED THIS BOOK. From the first page to the last page, it completely grabbed me, held my attention, and made me super emotional. I can't believe it took me THIS LONG to read another Wendelin Van Draanan book — because if you know me, you know I'm HEAD OVER HEELS OBSESSED WITH FLIPPED. Of course, as a total die-hard fangirl I still love Flipped best of all, but The Running Dream is AMAZING and here's why!

The characters.
ALL the characters in this book are so well-written. Je
Jan 02, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I am deeply out of step with friends again on this one, and it feels a bit like kicking a puppy to say how much I disliked a book about a runner who loses her foot but overcomes her tragedy - in theory. In reality, I disliked the prose, very much disliked the voice and hated the odd little pro-track-team/anti-other types of athletes (or bad track team whiners) thing going on. Little quote to indicate the prose before another few quotes just to vent. This one comes two pages after Jessica asks he ...more
Mar 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
“Silent tears burn, then pool in my ears.
But they don’t change a thing.
I wipe my eyes and check the clock again.
4:32 a.m.
It’s my eighth day with no leg.”

What if you lost the one thing that means the most to you?

For me, as a reader, it would be terrifying if I went blind. I would lose the ability to see words with my eyes and imprint their meaning into my mind. What a scary thought. While it wouldn't be the end of the world - of course there are still audiobooks to listen to - it would be suc
Feb 05, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
I am not a runner. In fact, my body vehemently resists most exercise, preferring the couch, Netflix, and fistfuls of potato. So a book centered around the love of running did not seem to be my cup of tea. But this? This was pretty good. It almost, almost made me want to get up and run.

In The Running Dream, 17-year old track star Jessica has just lost her right foot. The book follows her through her frustrations, healing, and eventual ability to feel comfortable in her own skin. It's a perfectly
Oct 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen is undoubtedly a great book. It got me hooked right from the start. Just the synopsis alone is enough for anyone to pick the book up and immediately start reading it.

For me, the beginning of the book was the most memorable. It was when Jessica had just lost one of her legs; her worst nightmare. The horror, the pain and agony she had to deal with just to walk again was truly heartbreaking. Being a runner in her school, her legs are definitely the most im
Feb 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This book made me cry like a lunatic that's probably because I know how it is to be in Jessica's shoes. Living with a disability means that there would be times wherein people would judge your capabilities based on what their eyes can see. We (people with disabilities) will have our moments wherein we would feel bad because we are not like our peers, but let us remember that our physical limitations are never hindrance to reach for our dreams. I hope that one day, everyone will see us not for th ...more
Duffy Pratt
Jul 09, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens
I'm torn about how I feel about this book. For what it aspires to be, its quite good. But I wanted more from it. The story is decently told and moves along nicely. The characters are stock, but there's enough depth there to tug on the heartstrings at a couple of points. For basic background, this is the story of a high school track star who loses her right leg in a bus accident.

There are several aspects of the book that are quite good. First, there is a strong and clear sense of what its like to
Blondish And Bookish
Mar 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Jessica loves to run. She runs competitively for her school, and she runs because she loves it. When the bus that the track team is on is hit by a truck, a girl is killed and Jessica, well, Jessica loses a leg. Having a limb amputated is unbelievably hard for anyone to deal with, but when your life is running it's even worse. Jessica has to deal with caring for her stump and learning how to use a prosthesis, with stares and comments, and mostly with losing the ability to be who she is—a runner. ...more
Rachel Aranda
Jul 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, ebooks
What a delightful read “The Running Dream” turned out to be! It’s a YA contemporary novel about a high school runner, Jessica, involved in an accident that results in one of her teammates dying and her own leg being removed. There were realistic yet best scenario views of hardships and victories an amputee would face both mentally and physically. The addition of Rosa, a girl with Cerebral Palsy, was wonderful as it helped put things into perspective for Jessica and drew my attention in more.

Freaking love this book. And quite honestly, it beats Six of Crows in my top 5 favorite books. Full review to come!
Nov 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
The Running Dream wasn’t just a book that you would read any day and put it down afterwards. After I finished reading this book, it made me think more and deeper about the situation.

Jessica, the star runner on her track team, loses a leg in a car crash. She struggles to walk or even hobble to places. This completely frustrates and agers her. She just keeps on asking herself, “Why did it have to be me?!” Eventually, the track team saves up enough money to generously buy Jessica a new prosthetic
Jan 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
I loved this book! It actually correlated with my leg injury and how I have to make it through each day step by step. My leg injury was nothing though compared to losing a foot, such as this girl did. This book describes the problems she faced on her way to recovery and how she overcame more obstacles. Her dream: to run again. Will her dream come true? Guess you have to read it to find out. I thought the author did amazing job writing this book and I wouldn't have changed anything about it. This ...more
Rana Najjar
Jun 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
"Fascinating , educational , and extremely emotional journey" ...more
This book makes me appreciate more what God has given me, especially of course my two feet. Really enjoy the story telling as well as the characters. So great. The information about running and the athletes with disability got me check on YouTube to find out about it.
I actually enjoyed this one. I loved Jessica's attitude despite everything that happened to her. This wasn't a 300+ page pity party. Yes there were times when she started to fall into that rabbit hole but she always quickly shook it off and kept going. Jess was strong and inspirational and I loved it. ...more
Oct 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book. And not just because it's all about a high school track star (confession: I ran varsity track and cross country all through high school so all the nerdy running stuff? Yeah, I get it).

First of all, it's clean. No profanity, no sex, no drinking and/or drug use. None of the content that makes contemporary YA edgy these days. And it's a breath of fresh air because you know what? I didn't miss any of that stuff one bit.

That's not to say Van Draanen shied away from deali
Apr 15, 2021 rated it really liked it
How have I gone my long 14 years of life without this book?! It is hands down the most inspiring (and well-written) book I have ever read. It totally made me appreciate everything I have and now I’m like totally confident in myself. This book also made me want to run and I literally HATE running. None of the characters were bland and the development was AMAZING! I cannot recommend this book highly enough. There are not enough stars on this earth that I could rate this book with.
Sarah DiMento
Jan 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
I read this because I love to run and rarely see books that center around running. I wasn't expecting much but surprisingly I enjoyed this story a lot. A bit cheesy but still inspiring and has a meaningful underlying message. ...more
Ew. Ew. Ew.
Where to begin?
I guess I'll begin with the obvious: I hated this.
It's so bland, predictable, unrealistic, and boring.

I thought that all the characters were one-dimensional and boring. The main character: Jessica (I had to look up her name since she was so forgettable) had NO personality aside from runner and girl who lost a leg. THAT'S IT! There was no character development or change or anything. She lost her leg and that didn't change much about her or her views at all! I
Jul 29, 2019 rated it really liked it

thanks Abbie, for reviewing it so well that I jumped right on board xD

: it was so educational and fascinating to read about running and lost limbs and prosthetics
: also the theme of seeing PEOPLE not their CONDITION was so well done and I loved it
: the STYLE omw the STYLE
: the writing style made me feel so many things. not really the words or the narrator's voice or anything but THE STYLE AND HOW IT WAS WRITTEN
: also I love how this book was arranged and divided
: I
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Such I good book! I highly recommend this book.
Dec 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’m a very unathletic person. I don’t tend to enjoy exercising and don’t play sports, so for me to say that The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen made me want to get up and run is high praise in itself.

The Running Dream follows 16 year old Jessica through her journey of grief and healing as she attempts to live life as an amputee. Her loss of her leg means the possibility of running (Jessica’s main passion) seems to be just a dream - unattainable.

One of the reasons I rated this book highly
Dec 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book was outstanding! It will definitely stick with me for the rest of my life. It made me appreciate my life and what/who I have. After reading this book I've definitely changed my way on how I see people with disabilities- not that I ever saw disabled people in a bad way- but it's made me realize that there's way more to them then there condition and that I should take the time to get to know them. Also, since I enjoy exercise and running it also motivated me a whole lot more to just get ...more
5 glorious stars to this one! What a wonderful and brave story!

I often find myself steering clear of falling and getting back stories these days. Often they feel manipulative and contrived. But The Running Dream, now this is a genuinely good story about falling and getting back up. The tone is honest and sincere. Wendelin Van Draanen made every character in The Running Dream relatable/understandable. Jessica's story is about losing and winning. The Running Dream is more about the love of life t
Aug 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
"I feel like I'm flying."

For a runner, you know exactly what that phrase means. The sound of your feet hitting the ground, your arms swishing, the breeze, the sun, the rain. I'm a runner. I absolutely love running and I have for a very long time.

I can't imagine if that had been taken away from me when I was younger - in high school. But that's what's happened to Jessica. In a tragic, horrible, senseless accident - a student is killed and Jessica is injured. This story is about Jessica's recovery
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Wendelin Van Draanen has written more than thirty novels for young readers and teens. She is the author of the 18-book Edgar-winning Sammy Keyes series, and wrote Flipped which was named a Top 100 Children’s Novel for the 21st Century by SLJ, and became a Warner Brothers feature film with Rob Reiner directing. Her novel The Running Dream was awarded ALA’s Schneider Family Award for its portrayal o ...more

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