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Children's Fiction Track & Field

Taking the Lead

by (author) Karen Spafford-Fitz

James Lorimer & Company Ltd., Publishers
Initial publish date
Sep 2019
Track & Field, Special Needs
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Aug 2019
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2019
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 10 to 13
  • Grade: 3
  • Reading age: 7 to 8


As captain of his school track and field team, Jonas runs only to win. His specialty is the 100-metre sprint. When the team's first track meet does not go as he hoped, Jonas turns his anger on his teammates. He ends up in the office, where the principal also notices that Jonas has failed to complete his required volunteer work. She kicks him off the team and strips him of his captaincy, but later makes him a deal: Jonas can compete at the final track met if he finishes his volunteer hours. To do so, he must train Darien, a vision and mobility impaired teen, for a 5k race. Through working with Darien, Jonas gains a new appreciation for his sport and for what it means to be a true winner.


About the author

Karen Spafford-Fitz grew up in an old limestone farmhouse near Kingston, Ontario where her early training as a writer involved reading thousands of books. In fact, it was impossible to walk across her bedroom without stubbing a toe on Anne of Green Gables, Little House on the Prairie, Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, Trixie Belden, and her father's old Lone Ranger books.

Eager to read more, Karen studied English Language and Literature at Queen's University. She followed that up with a degree in Education and went on to teach elementary and junior high students for eight years. Two daughters and a move across the country later, Karen began creating her own stories for children and teenagers. Dog Walker is her first middle-grade novel.

When Karen is not writing in her Edmonton studio, she is often running with her rambunctious German shepherd, who helps Karen train for her next half marathon. Karen also enjoys speaking to students about the inspiration for her stories, the creative process and the writing life.

Karen Spafford-Fitz's profile page


  • Commended, Starred Selection - Best Books for Kids & Teens - Canadian Children's Book Centre - 2020

Editorial Reviews

"Fast paced and believable and would be of special interest to students, boys in particular, who find reading larger novels to be a chore." - 4/5

CM: Canadian Review of Materials

Other titles by Karen Spafford-Fitz