________________ CM . . . . Volume XII Number 3 . . . . September 30, 2005


Terry Fox: A Story of Hope.

Maxine Trottier.
Markham, ON: Scholastic, 2005.
32 pp., cloth, $16.99.
ISBN 0-439-94888-6.

Subject Headings:
Fox, Terry, 1958-1981-Juvenile literature.
Cancer-Patients-Biography-Juvenile literature.
Runners (Sports)-Canada-Biography-Juvenile literature.

Grades 2-5 / Ages 7-10.

Review by Dave Jenkinson.

**** /4


Then in November of 1976, Terry began having pain in his right knee. He tried to ignore it and continued to play basketball, but by March the pain was unbearable. His father drove him to the hospital where Terry had X-rays and a bone scan. With his family around him, he was told the results of the tests. He had bone cancer. His leg would have to be amputated as soon as possible. In an instant, Terry’s life was changed forever.

At first, he cried at the thought of what had happened, at what faced him, but Terry pulled himself together. This was one more challenge. He had worked hard before to achieve his goals and he could do it again, even if it meant doing it with only one leg. He wouldn’t let anyone pity him, any more than he would pity himself.

Terry’s fight with cancer had begun.



Every September, thousands of school children participate in a Terry Fox Run, but how much do they know about the person this event commemorates? In recent years, middle years students have had access to Eric Walters’ Run, a novel which presented Terry’s journey through the eyes of a fictional adolescent. Now, during the 25th anniversary of the Marathon of Hope, Trottier has produced for younger readers a brief, but excellent, introduction to the person Terry Fox and his motivation for undertaking to run across Canada. The easy-to-read text is most generously illustrated with colour and black and white photos, many of them family snapshots, as well as reproductions of such items as postcards, Terry’s school and university ID’s and his six-year-old’s letter to Santa. An opening map traces Terry’s progress across Canada from the run’s beginning on April 12, 1980, in St. John’s, NL, until its premature conclusion in Thunder Bay, ON, on September 1, 1980. What emerges is a picture of a typical Canadian kid, one whose team pictures evidence that he liked to play sports such as basketball and soccer, but one whose “ordinary” life was changed suddenly and significantly at age 18 with the diagnosis of bone cancer and the subsequent amputation of a leg. Trottier portrays the impact of Terry’s altruistic and heroic undertaking in raising funds for cancer research without turning him into a unapproachable paragon.

     Note that the author’s royalties, matched by a donation from Scholastic, will be donated to the Terry Fox Foundation. A “must-purchase ” title for every elementary school in Canada.

Highly Recommended.

Dave Jenkinson teaches courses in children’s and adolescent literature at the Faculty of Education, the University of Manitoba.

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

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