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Running Rivals
Running Rivals
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Award Winners Reviewed Titles Accelerated Reader
Jake Maddox

Running Rivals

by Jake Maddox
Illustrated by Tuesday Mourning

At the beginning of the track season, Amy hurt her knee during a race. Now her doctor has given her the okay to get back on the track, but Amy's still shaky. Her knee may be healed, but her confidence is still broken. The biggest race of the year is coming up, and it's on the exact same track where she was hurt before. With help from an unexpected source, will she be able to race again?

GenreSports Fiction
Reading LevelGrades 2-3
Interest LevelGrades 3-6
Lexile Level640L
ATOS Level3.4
AR Points1
AR Quiz #123138
Text TypeLiterature: Narrative
PublisherStone Arch Books
BrandJake Maddox
Page Dimensions5 1/4" x 7 1/2"
Page Count72
BindingReinforced Library Binding
List Price: $25.99 School/Library Price

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Library Media Connection - Betsy Ruffin

"Combining sports and feelings, this book provides light realistic fiction for female sports fans. A star runner, Amy, is facing a comeback after hurting her knee. As she practices, she experiences anxieties, which she finally tells her family about. She is especially worried about running against her main rival. Her older sister has an idea--practice with Madison, her rival. They are able to help each other in improving their running. The race ends with Madison winning, but with Amy having her best time ever and both qualifying for the state finals. End material includes a brief biography of female track and golf star Babe Didrikson Zaharias; discussion questions and writing prompts from the novel; and an Internet site for more information. The book is a fairly easy chapter book with some b&w pictures throughout. Featuring a strong African-American family and female track athletes, the story fills some needed areas in fiction. The morals of facing fears and finding friends are defined, but not heavy-handed. Running Rivals provides a transition book from easy to fiction for library collections. Glossary. Recommended. 2009" - Library Media Connection

June 1, 2009

Pennsylvania School Librarians Association - Karen Hornberger

"Amy is recovering from an injury but does not want that to affect her performance once she rejoins her track team for competition. She is used to being a top competitor and struggles to overcome the feelings that accompany the loss of practice time and uncertainty about body capabilities after injury. Through family support Amy finds the strength to move on. At the suggestion of her sister, Amy befriends her biggest rival to look for tips on successful running. It is so refreshing that kindness is modeled through this story; however the end may be a little too perfect. This high interest selection has a reading level of 2.7 – this Impact Books’ title is similar to the Orca publications but without the presence of large drama, the topics are much more innocent. Athletics." - Pennsylvania School Librarians Association

May 1, 2009


School Library Journal - Kate Kohlbeck; Randall School

"These sport-themed novels provide a lot of bang for your buck and are perfect for reluctant readers. In Rivals, Amy suffers an injury that prevents her from competing on her school track team for two months of the season, and she worries that she won’t be prepared for a big meet. Priebe successfully conveys the African-American child’s love for running, and the dialogue is easygoing and realistic. The fast-paced story has enough suspense to keep readers’ interest. The only minus may be the illustrations, which appear rather one-dimensional and amateurish. In Climb, 14-year-old Amir is befriended by a police officer who helps the boy channel his dangerous attempts at scaling buildings into the safe, fun hobby of climbing in a gym. The book skillfully combines an action-based plot with facts about the sport. The story is well executed (if a little predictable), but it is not enhanced by the illustrations. Back matter in both books is excellent–a brief biography of Babe Didrikson Zaharias in Rivals and facts about climbing in the other book; questions to prompt discussion and writing; and directions for using the publisher’s FactHound Web site to further explore these activities." - School Library Journal

March 1, 2009


Pennsylvania School Librarians Association

2008 Young Adult Top Forty Fiction Title

May 1, 2009

Jake Maddox

Jake Maddox

Who is Jake Maddox? Athlete, author, world-traveler – or all three? He has surfed in Hawaii, scuba-dived in Australia, and climbed the mountains of Peru and Alaska. His books range from the most popular team sports to outdoor activities to survival adventures and even to auto racing. His exploits have inspired numerous writers to walk in his footsteps – literally! Each of his stories is stamped with teamwork, fair play, and a strong sense of self-worth and discipline. Always a team-player, Maddox realizes it takes more than one man (or woman) to create a book good enough for a young reader. He hopes the lessons learned on the court, field, or arena and the champion sprinter pace of his books can motivate kids to become better athletes and lifelong readers.

Go to the Author’s Page →