The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen
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The novel, The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen is a great book that will cause readers to reflect on important topics such as coping with life’s unexpected twists and turns. The more I get to know my students, the more I realize that they deal with unfortunate circumstances regularly. Yet, they find a way to be strong and make the best of their situation.
The Running Dream introduces us to a character that has to learn this same lesson. Jessica is a great runner. Then, she lost her leg in an accident and within seconds her passion, her goals, her dreams were ripped away. As Jessica learns to cope with her new life, she learns many lessons along the way.
Use The Running Dream for Literature Circles, Book Clubs, or Small Groups
If you’re looking for a good read aloud or a book for literature circles or small groups, The Running Dream is a good choice. Students will empathize with Jessica’s story and root for her throughout the book. The book lends itself to have some great conversations about character and grit.
Use these 5 Writing Prompts for The Running Dream.
These prompts will get your students thinking and ready for a discussion.
- Have you ever faced difficulties in your life that couldn’t be reversed? How did you/are you dealing with it?
- How would you define a friend?
- What is hope? How do you keep hope through difficult situations?
- If you described your life in seasons, which events would be in each season?
- What is something you’ve had to push yourself to do?
This is a story of making a new normal and dealing with life’s tragedies. This is a story of self-reflection and self-determination. In addition, this story reminds us of the importance of seeing people for who they are.
Dreams. Tragedy. Pain. Obstacles. Frustration. Friendship. Starting Over. Healing. Determination. Overcoming. The Running Dream addresses it all. I highly recommend it!
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