Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 9 to 12
- Grade: 4 to 7
Harry Jerome is one of Canada's forgotten heroes. From a skinny little kid growing up in St. Boniface, Manitoba, he rose to become "the fastest man in the world," a title he held for an incredible eight years. He achieved this, despite having to battle the prejudices he and his family had to overcome, on account of their African-Canadian heritage.
In this engaging and inspiring novel, acclaimed children's writer Norma Charles has woven together Harry's fascinating life story from facts gathered through research, interviews with his family, friends and coach, and also from her own memories of his races at UBC when she was a student there.
Runner is the story of one Canadian kid's determination and perseverance against enormous odds. As Norma explains, "I hope it will serve as an inspiration to youth across Canada."
About the author
"Norma Charles has assured that his (Harry Jerome) memory will live on through the pages of her book. Hopefully, Harry's life story will encourage children and youth of today to take their passions to the highest level possible, to meet the challenges that they will face with courage and not give up because, with enough determination, success will be theirs. Thank you, Norma Charles, for sharing the life of this amazing man with all of us.
— CM Magazine
"Although the author wrote this as a fictional account, she knew Harry during his racing days. Remembering his great persistence in the face of obstacles, she wanted her children and grandchildren to learn about the world's fastest man. Her research into many sources included interviews with Jerome's sister, best friend, and coach. The result is a very readable account. Frequent use of dialog in a simple narrative style makes the story accessible to middle grade readers."
— VOYA Magazine