The Race

Get ready, get set, GO! A group of caribou gather together to run a race. Starting at the beginning of the course, readers join in the fun as the caribou engage in some rather outlandish tricks in order to be the first to cross the finish line. (Banana skins, for example, are an effective way to get rid of some opponents.) But in the midst of this titanic struggle for victory, some of the caribou stop to question the merits of their single-minded pursuit of winning at all costs. In the end, the reader is left to decide who the real winner is in this cautionary tale about the ups and downs of winning and losing. Illustrations are cut-paper collage.

Blood Runner: The Long Race to Freedom

Samuel’s parents and young sister, innocent bystanders during an uprising, are killed by South African police. Samuel is sent to live with his uncle, a tribal chief in the Bantu homeland, while his brother vows to join the African National Congress armed struggle and avenge his family’s deaths. In the homeland, Samuel discovers he can run faster than anyone and before long begins to train under his English-educated uncle. Years later, after the end of Apartheid, Samuel is selected as the token black South African athlete to run in the Olympics. President Nelson Mandela is there when he wins his gold medal, and Samuel dedicates it to ‘a very special man… I was running for the President. I was running for my country. This powerful and moving story portrays what it was like for blacks growing up in South Africa aunder Apartheid and the different ways in which they struggled to gain their freedom. For some, like Samuel’s brother, it was an armed struggle, but for Samuel it was the opportunity to prove he could run better than any white man.

The First Marathon: The Legend of Pheidippides

Twenty-five hundred years ago, in ancient Greece, a small band of Greek soldiers faced the mighty Persian army on the plain of Marathon. A runner named Pheidippides ran to neighboring Sparta, one hundred forty miles away, to ask for the Spartans’ aid. Afterwards he sped back to the battle, where he helped defeat the enemy. Then the weary runner did his duty yet once more; he ran from Marathon to Athens to deliver the miraculous news of the Greek victory. The legend of brave Pheidippides has inspired the running of marathons worldwide.

On the Run

Fifteen-year-old Luke is a skilled thief with a perfect record until the day he is caught running from a robbery gone wrong. He chooses to save the life of a blind girl, Jodi, rather than escape cleanly. As a result, Luke is given a shot at freedom if he will train to be Jodi’s guide in the London Marathon. The friendship that develops between the two offers Luke one last chance to discover just how far-and in what direction-he is willing to run. A taut, unpredictable read, this novel will appeal to anyone who has changed course in life . . . or is trying to figure out how.