Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 10 to 13
- Grade: 3
- Reading age: 7 to 8
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?
About the author
TREVOR KEW is an English teacher and regular contributor to the soccer magazine Free Kick. He is also the author of several Lorimer Sports Stories soccer novels. Trading Goals was shortlisted for Japan's Sakura Medal and Playing Favourites is a Junior Library Guild selection.
- Winner, Best Books for Kids & Teens Starred Selection - Canadian Children's Book Centre
"An enjoyable read about running, friendship and descrimination."
"A highly recommended high-interest/low vocabulary title. Rated G: Good, even great at times, generally useful!"
"An excellently written story that is perfect for middle-grade readers. A well-paced story with hidden lessons. This book can teach priorities, acceptance, and how important it is to stand up to bullies. Even readers who aren't sports fans can enjoy reading this!"