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Download The Running Dream Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Running Dream, by Wendelin Van Draanen Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (3,637 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Wendelin Van Draanen Narrator: Laura Flanagan Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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 she struggles to cope with crutches and a first cyborg-like prosthetic, Jessica feels oddly both in the spotlight and invisible. People who don't know what to say, act like she's not there. Which she could handle better if she weren't now keenly aware that she'd done the same thing herself to a girl with CP named Rosa. A girl who is going to tutor her through all the math she's missed. A girl who sees right into the heart of her.

With the support of family, friends, a coach, and her track teammates, Jessica may actually be able to run again. But that's not enough for her now. She doesn't just want to cross finish lines herself—she wants to take Rosa with her. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Izzy Tils | 2/15/2014

    " This book was sad but very inspirational :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Kelly Thielen | 2/15/2014

    " Jessica is a high school junior who runs on the track team. On the way back from an Invitational, a truck collides with their bus, killing one student on board the bus and critically injuring Jessica. Her injury is to her leg. It is so badly mangled that it has to be amputated below the knee. Since she is a runner, this is a hard pill to swallow. Even though her friend Fiona has been encouraging her to get back to school, she is reluctant to go back. She is embarrassed and frustrated and doesn't want anyone to see her. Her Track buddies decide to try to raise money for a running leg for Jessica so that she can get back onto the track team for her senior year. Though she is excited that they want to do this for her, it makes her self-conscious and she doesn't really believe they can raise enough money, but as the publicity comes in, Jessica even starts to get her hopes up a little bit. As time goes on, Jessica gets a first leg and learns how to walk on it. She becomes friends with Rosa, a girl with Cerebral Palsy who is a math genius and helps her catch up in math. This along with her own experience, makes her think about how she has viewed Rosa in the past - pretty much ignoring her and seeing her for her disability. Her new goal is to make people start looking at the person - not the disability and she finds a really creative way to make her point. There's lots more to this story - learning to persevere, first romance, new friends and Van Draanen does a good job of bringing her themes home, so to speak. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Danie P. | 1/29/2014

    " For older children readers and teens. Jessica wakes up without one of her legs. She remembers a crash after a track meet. Now she'll never run again...or will she? Jessica begins to learn a lot about herself and about how she treated others before her accident. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Helen | 1/27/2014

    " This book was so inspiring. The thought of loosing a limb is one of my biggest fears. Reading about it from Jessica's perspective was difficult for me at times. I cried through most of this book, both happy and sad tears. As I read this story, and especially the last part when Jessica was training for the race I was very powerfully reminded of my training. I ran the Chicago marathon about a year ago and I remember when I started training I felt very daunted by the task in front of me. I am not a runner; before I started training I could not run a block without panting and collapsing from exhaustion. But, like Jessica, I started slow, just running a few minutes at a time. I had good days and bad days during my eight months of training. I had days when I would finish a really hard run and dissolve into tears because I didn't think I would be able to do it. I also had days when I finished a really good run and felt amazing, like the marathon would be so bad after all. I wish I had read this book last year when I was training because it would have really helped inspire me to keep going on the hard days. The actual day of the marathon was a mixture of emotions for me. Just like Jessica in the story, the first half was great, almost easy. The last half was bad; each step more painful than the last. But also like Jessica, I finished it. I never though someone like me, overweight and out of shape, would ever be able to run anywhere, let alone a marathon. But I did. During my training I heard runners talk about "the runner's high", but I could not relate. Most of my training was a challenge, but toward the end as I started getting better and running longer distances, I began to understand a little about this elusive "runner's high". I don't think I ever completely got there, but I got close. Reading Jessica's descriptions of running in this story reminded me of that feeling and I kind of want to feel it again. Sadly, since I finished the marathon I have done very little running. Reading Jessica's story of overcoming a huge obstacle to run again is really inspiring to me. It makes me want to run again. "

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