From School Library Journal
Grade 4-7 A tenderhearted story told in spare, free-verse poems. Annie, 12, takes great pleasure in running, but has no interest in racing or becoming a member of a team. For her, the pure joy comes from feeling the earth beneath her bare feet and the wind in her face. The experience is totally different for her moody friend and running partner, Max. For him, running is a way to escape his personal problems. Annie's comfortable, tightly knit world begins to unravel when she learns that her mother is pregnant and she becomes increasingly aware that her beloved Grandpa, a former champion racer, is slipping into dementia. She is a resourceful, self-possessed kid who takes comfort in the familiar but is able to face change and take it in stride. She marvels at the new life taking shape in her midst (her father provides month-by-month summations of the baby's development) and mourns the loss of her grandfather's strong and nurturing wisdom. School, art class, and chores appear throughout the verses, creating an everyday rhythm that matches the footfalls of this engaging heroine who loves to move, but who is willing to stop and smell the roses. Readers will enjoy meeting Annie, her family, and friends and will appreciate her resilience and spirit. This is vintage Creech, and its richness lies in its sheer simplicity.--Luann Toth, School Library Journal
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Gr. 3-6. "I love to run / but I don't want to run / in a herd," avows 11-year-old Annie, the free-spirited, ruminative narrator of Creech's second novel in verse. Annie's nonconformist outlook has raised tensions with her running buddy, Max, who can't understand why Annie won't join him on the track team. In the meantime, Annie's mother is pregnant, which thrills Annie but brings her grandfather's failing health into painful focus. In the midst of these shifting relationships, a creative teacher's school assignment offers solace and, as in Love That Dog
(2001), an opportunity for self-discovery: Annie must draw a single apple each day for 100 days. The symbolism of the apple seems belabored, and the story's gentle momentum will probably hook only the most thoughtful young readers. But like the apple Annie draws, this story is a lovingly crafted, miniature landscape, which will find its most passionate advocates among Creech's numerous adult fans. Jennifer MattsonCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved