Orca Book Publishers

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Fiction Ages 9-12
Pages: 176
Themes: long-distance running, friendship, track and field, sprint relay team, wildfires, dementia, potential, scholarships, failure
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: 23/Jan/2018
Fry Reading Level: 3.8
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Everyone expected Leon Kline, anchor for the 4x100 sprint relay, to secure Gilburn High's spot in the record books. But a freak accident on the final stretch changes everything. Suddenly his future is gone. No more running, no scholarship, no college. But then he meets sassy and straight-talking Casey De Vries, and life doesn't look quite so bleak. She even gets him running again. He can't sprint anymore, but he can handle longer distances. As he gets to know Casey better, he realizes that something is not quite right. How can he help her if she won't tell him what’s going on?

Resource Links - February 15, 2018
"This is a solid book with contemporary themes and it works well…Leon is well fleshed out as a character."
CM Magazine - February 13, 2018
"Spreen Bates deftly takes the reader through the ups and downs of growing up. She expertly portrays real life struggles without making them too cliché. Moreover, in Leon Kline, we have found a character for whom the reader is willing to root."
School Library Journal - January 26, 2018
"Sports fans will be drawn to the book by it's subject matter. The fully developed characters and story line packs a punch."

Awards

CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens  | 2018 | Commended