Tuesday, January 2, 2018

YA Pick: Running Full Tilt

Running Full Tilt
by Michael Currinder
Charlesbridge Teen
325 pages
ISBN: 9781580898027

High school junior Leo Coughlin is happy his family has to move. His brother Caleb has not made things easy for them or the neighbors. It's because of his brother's actions, that they leave their old neighborhood and find a new place to live. Leo starts at a new school and hopes for the future. Caleb is on the autism spectrum and has other learning disabilities and issues. Their parents are struggling to keep things together but the stress is palpable.

When Caleb begins acting out and hurting Leo, Leo decides to run and keep running. He finds out that he likes running. A lot. In fact, he joins his school's cross country team where he meets Curtis. Curtis and Leo become fast friends and Curtis pushes Leo to be great runner. Things at home continue to spiral out of control but with school, cross country and a new relationship with a sweet girl, Leo has a life.

The book's strengths are the relationship between Leo and Caleb. Leo loves his brother, but he cannot continue to be a punching bag. Caleb for his part doesn't intend to hurt his brother; he loves him but sometimes he can't control himself. Another strength are the descriptions of the meets and Leo's training Only someone with a running background could have written these descriptions. Non-running readers may not love the running passages as much but they are well done!

Recommended for reluctant readers and anyone who has a sibling or child on the spectrum. Readers who love sports will love this one, too.

Grade 9 and up. Some violence and language.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book from the publishers for #cybils. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.

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