Renae's Reviews > The Running Dream

The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen
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's review
May 22, 2011

it was amazing
Read in May, 2011

** spoiler alert ** This was one of the best books I have ever read. The descriptions of the struggles that Jessica faces as she deals with the grief of losing her leg, returns to school, learns how to walk with a prosthetic leg and eventually returns to her passion of running are some of the most well thought out and realistic words you could ever read in a literary novel. The Running Dream allows for readers to experience life right next to Jessica, as if they were really a part of hers.

Jessica learns that her friends and family can help her through anything and finds help from a new friend, Rosa. Rosa is a student at the school that Jessica meets only because of the fact that she is in a wheelchair at the beginning of her return to school. In math, she is asked to sit next to Rosa at the only table that is wheelchair friendly. Rosa has Cerebral Palsy and their friendship helps Jessica discover what is truly important to her while also raising her math grade with Rosa's tutoring. Jessica decides to put a face to the person with the disability instead of putting the disability as a turn off to other people.

I found it positive, that Wendelin Van Draanen used people first language, putting the person before the disability. For instance, on pages 306-309, there are many instances, including "Rosa Brazzi was born with Cerebral Palsy..." My only issue is that Van Draanen used the word "handicap" which paints a negative picture in a person's head, often that of someone in a wheelchair. Disability is a more commonly accepted phrase in today's culture.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone.

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