Monday, February 3, 2014

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday - Ultra

Hi everyone! Sorry I wasn't able to post last week, but I'm back today with another book from the middle grade Cybils shortlist.

ULTRA
by: David Carroll
Scholastic Canada 2013

From Goodreads:
A young ultra-marathon runner is pushed to the breaking point and beyond in this gripping tale of physical endurance and emotional healing.

Quinn has been called a superhero and a freak of nature. At age 13, he's an amazing distance runner. He takes on the second-hardest challenge of his life when he enters his first ultramarathon: a grueling 100-mile, 24-hour-long race that will push him to the very limit of his endurance.

While Quinn struggles to go on — up a mountain and through the night, as his muscles break down and he begins to hallucinate — we learn why the ultra-marathon is only the second hardest thing he has endured in his young life. And maybe this devastating event from his past is exactly what Quinn has been running from . . .

Even if you don't like running, you will love this book. Quinn's body is built for running and he enters his first ultra-marathon, a 100 mile 24-hour race - a race his dad has run in the past. Not only does the race test Quinn physically, but it is even more challenging mentally. My favorite quote from the book is by Kern - a runner Quinn meets while running. Kern states, "They don't know if they're running to something, or running from something." Quinn replies that maybe people just run to run. Kern then says, "Then they're blessed." Quinn doesn't reply, but this conversation replays in his head again and ultimately helps him deal with whether to finish the race and make some sense of a terrible situation he hasn't come to terms with yet in his young life. All in all a great book for the older middle grade set. (My middle-grader loved it!)

Thanks for stopping by! See you next week!

I received a copy of this book from the publisher as a judge for the Cybils awards. All opinions are my own.