For Chris Khalili, cross-country running is all about winning. And the only way he can hit top speed is by imagining scary figures chasing him through the woods around his home in Victoria, B.C. When forest fires to the north cause mass destruction, Chris doesn't see why he has to participate in the charity run to help refugees from the fire, when he should be concentrating on winning the city finals.
Chris becomes friends with Jason, a First Nations kid whose family has been displaced by the fire. He and Jason train together, but Chris is horrified that the shadowy figures in his mind have become stereotypical scary Natives. Chris is even more surprised by his dad's sudden interest in helping Jason and his family. For the first time, Chris wonders about his father's emigration from Iran as a young man, and starts to think about what it means to be a refugee and to have to actually run for your life. But without the fear of being pursued to spur him on, how will Chris win the big race?
TREVOR KEW is an English teacher and enthusiastic soccer goalkeeper. He is also the author of six Lorimer Sports Stories novels, including Run for Your Life, Bench Brawl, and Trading Goals. Trevor grew up in B.C. and now lives and works in Japan.