I place running is in the same category as going to the dentist, so when I read the blurbs about the finalist for the Cybils Middle Grade award I thought “really with all the great books out there I have to read about ultra-marathons!” We all know that you can’t always judge a book by the cover.
Quinn, a new teenager, is an ultra-marathon runner. (Yes, there are people out there that run 100 miles in 24 hours!) When Quinn was younger he started running with his dad. They soon found out that he had a larger than normal heart, and his body doesn’t produce much lactic acid, so he doesn’t get tired as easily as the rest of us. David Carroll the author of Ultra uses a television interview and flash backs to tell this gripping story. Through the race we learn about the relationships he has with his mom, younger brother, and best friend. We find out the hardship of the war in Afghanistan. Most importantly, I couldn’t put the book down. When the second round judges started we wrote about what exactly are we looking for. Michael wrote that we don’t want to pick a book that is like brussel sprouts or one like gummy bears, we want a book that is healthy and fun. That is why Ultra by David Carroll was the clear winner.
On a side note due to recent events a friend has formed a team for a race this spring in memory of Ethan, so I am training to run my first 5k.