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The Running Dream

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on 7 November 2013

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Transcript of The Running Dream

The Running Dream
By Wendelin Van Draanen

Characters
Jessica

- Jessica is the main character, who after her freak accident, loses her leg. She is very determined and although begins to give up, never does. Giving up is never an option for her, and because of motivation from her dreams, she does things that she never thought she could do.
Rosa
- Rosa is a very important person in Jessica's life. She has cerebral palsy. Jessica was never friends with her and just ignored her. But once she got to know her, Jessica and Rosa became inseparable. Through Rosa, Jessica not only got her grade up in Math, but she thought differently about people, and not just about her own dream of running again.
Her Track Team
- There are so many characters on Jessica's track team that do different things to keep her motivated, but none of those things would have had any impact on Jessica if her whole team didn't participate-including her coach Kyro. Her team was the most important thing to her and without it, Jessica wouldn't have gotten her life back together.
Plot
Jessica, a young teen, gets into a car accident and loses a leg. For a while, she becomes depressed and is between using crutches and a wheelchair. Because of this seating issue with her wheelchair, she was put next to a girl named Rosa in her math class. Jessica wasn't necessarily thrilled about this new seat, but she soon connected with her new friend. Jessica learns that Rosa has cerebral palsy and that she is actually a math genius. She continues to go back to the doctor for measurements of a prosthetic limb. Jessica knocks out her depression when she finally accepts the fact that moping around won't get her running again. With this, the plot changes and Jessica does things that even a normal human couldn't do-let alone one with only one leg. Jessica learns to set her mind to things, and with that she does something that changes her view on life forever.
Setting
The Running Dream takes place in a rural area or a suburb of a big or well known city like Chicago. The main places where this book takes place are Dr. Hank's office, Jessica's school, and on the track. Dr. Hank is Jessica's doctor after her freak accident. His office is a main place of setting because that's where she gets her life back together and learns how to live her new life. Jessica's school is one of the key places in this book. Here, she meets someone that she would never have ever really introduced herself to if it wasn't for this tragic accident. Her favorite place in the whole world is on the track. Running is Jessica's life. Without it, she feels like her life would have no meaning-which can be sad when she really starts to believe it.
Quotes
Theme
The Running Dream is a very motivational book in my opinion and has multiple themes throughout. The two themes that occurred and played the largest roles of the book were to never give up and don't judge a book by its cover. In this book, Jessica lost her leg and was convinced that she would never be able to run again. She brought herself down and others around her, too-until she decided to change her attitude. She was so close to giving up what she loved the most, but she didn't because she was reminded by an unusual friend that giving up wasn't an option. This ties into the second theme; don't judge a book by its cover. This unusual friend's name was Rosa. Before Jessica had lost her leg, she never talked to Rosa. She was just some girl in her math class. But once Jessica actually became friends with her, she learned so much about Rosa and wanted to be her friend because SHE wanted to, not because she felt bad for her. It was sad for Jessica to realize that she had to loose a limb to become friends with Rosa. Most people-including Jessica-thought that Rosa was "different" to say nicely because others-including Jessica-saw her condition, not her as a person. This was said throughout the book a lot and was incorporated into Jessica's life, too.
"I am a runner. That's what I do. That's who I am. Running is all I know, or want, or care about. It was a race around the soccer field in third grade that swept me into a real love of running."
-Draanen 6
"I spend a lot of time noticing how my purple paisley bedspread clashes with the oriental rug. I spend a lot of time reliving my last race. Wishing for my leg back. Crying."
-Page 57

"Everyone claps and whistles, and a couple of people even stand up. Fiona grins and gives me a wink as she moves to her assigned seat. It's a wink that means something specific: You can make it. You can do this. One down, five to go."
-Draanen 98
"In one week I'll have a leg. In one week I'll learn to walk again. In one week."
-Draanen, 154
"This race has made me believe that there's nothing I can't do. This is my new starting line." -Draanen 332
"I'm not really part of the team. Not anymore." -Draanen 174
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