________________ CM . . . . Volume XII Number 15 . . . . March 31, 2006


Running for Dave. (New Series Canada).

Lori Jamison.
Toronto, ON: High Interest Publishing, 2005.
86 pp., pbk., $9.95.
ISBN 1-897039-11-5.

Subject Headings:
Cancer-Juvenile fiction.
Friendship-Juvenile fiction.
Teenagers and death-Juvenile fiction.

Grades 9-12 / Ages 14-17.

Review by Christina Pike.

**** /4


"Hey, Rusty, want another drink?" Cole Weston joked as he came over to us. He had a can of Pepsi in one hand. "Careful, now, you don't want to drop it ... like you did in the relay." Then he started laughing at me.

Cole has mastered the laugh as a put-down. He's got this great big laugh that makes you feel really stupid. And his laugh is so loud that other people join in. I could feel half the room looking at me, and at least a couple of guys were laughing along with Cole.

"I just had an off-hand day," I said.

"More like an off-season if you ask me," Cole snapped back and then there was more laughter. "Listen Rusty, I hear they need some guys for the chess team," he went on. "Or maybe the yearbook. You can be slow and clumsy there and it won't matter so much."

By now, everyone in the room was looking at us and grinning. I think all of them wanted to see me squirm.

That's when Dave came to my rescue. He's been my best friend for life, but I never needed him more than right then.


Running for Dave, by Lori Jamison, is a touching hi-lo story about the realities of cancer. As the main character in this story, Rusty faces many challenges, one of the largest being believing in himself. When Dave, his best friend, inspiration and teammate on the school's running team, is diagnosed with cancer, Rusty begins to see the world and himself clearly. Following Dave's death, Rusty begins to take running seriously and trains every day. Previously a distance runner, he begins to run sprints, thereby filling the space left vacant by Dave. At the big meet, Rusty wants not only to run but to win for Dave. The competition is tough, but Rusty is determined.

     Jamison has written a realistic story about survival after cancer. Unlike the typical cancer story, it talks about those that are left behind after the battle has been lost. This very moving story engages readers, who, along with the characters in the novel, are invited to take a close look at themselves.

A good read, one which is hard to put down.

Christina Pike has been seconded to the Department of Education in Newfoundland and Labrador.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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