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Running Full Tilt
Contributor(s): Currinder, Michael
ISBN: 1580898025     ISBN-13: 9781580898027
Publisher: Charlesbridge Pub Inc
    OUR PRICE: $16.19  
Product Type: Hardcover
Published: September 2017
Annotation: Sixteen-year-old Leo Coughlin's life is increasingly stressful because his autistic older brother Caleb's behavior is becoming more bizarre and even violent, and their parents' marriage is falling apart--but Leo finds an escape in long distance running, and in two new friends: Curtis, himself a potential state champion who teaches him the strategy of running, and Mary, his would-be girlfriend.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Autism; Juvenile fiction.
Long-distance running; Juvenile fiction.
Running races; Juvenile fiction.
Dewey: 813.6
LCCN: 2016043040
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 7-9, Age 12-14
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 8.75" H x 6.00" W x 1.25" (1.05 lbs) 327 pages
Scholastic Reading Counts Info
Quiz #: Q71886
Reading Level: 5.3   Interest Level: Grades 9-12   Point Value: 19.0
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2018 Spring)
Leo's older brother, Caleb, has autism, epilepsy, and some developmental disabilities and has recently become physically aggressive. Leo, running away from Caleb out of necessity, finds a hidden talent and joins the high school cross-country and track teams. New friends help him maintain balance amidst the chaos. Leo's complicated relationship with Caleb and the suspenseful track races are the novel's strengths; the story ultimately takes a tragic turn. Copyright 2017 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Reviewed by Horn Book Magazine Reviews (Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2017 #5)
High school junior Leo Coughlin has a difficult home life. His older brother, Caleb, has autism, epilepsy, and some developmental disabilities--and his disruptive behavior has prompted the family's move from one St. Louis suburb to another. Recently, Caleb has become physically aggressive with Leo, leaving scratches and bruises. Their parents' marriage, which was rocky to begin with, is strained even more by the stress of the whole situation. Leo, who has begun running away from Caleb out of necessity, finds a hidden talent and joins first the cross-country team and then the track team at his new high school. A pair of new friends--Curtis, his running buddy; and Mary, a sympathetic girlfriend--help him maintain balance amidst the chaos, especially as he works through his complicated relationship with Caleb. That relationship is one of the strengths of the novel, but it takes a tragic (and slightly cliched) turn. The novel's other strength is the track races, with scenes full of action and suspense. jonathan hunt Copyright 2017 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2017 July #2)

Currinder's debut novel expertly navigates the complicated relationship between 17-year-old Leo Coughlin and his older brother, Caleb: "All I understood was that Caleb's autism and cognitive delays meant that his brain made sense of the world in a different way than mine." After Caleb's unpredictable behavior makes them unwelcome in their St. Louis neighborhood, the family moves across town, which sets Caleb off and precipitates physical attacks on Leo. Leo's only escape is to run—and he does, long and far. When Leo starts at a new high school in the fall, he goes out for the cross-country team and discovers a talent for the sport. Currinder lets his narrative unfold with the steady pace of a distance runner, allowing readers to gradually witness the joys and frustrations of having a neurodivergent sibling. The story is both tender and unabashedly honest in its portrayal of how Caleb affects Leo's life. While the final chapters bring a tragic twist, the novel remains hopeful, and the resilient love between Caleb and Leo shines through. Ages 12–up. Agent: Emily Mitchell, Wernick & Pratt. (Sept.)

Copyright 2017 Publisher Weekly.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2017 July)

Gr 9 Up—Leo's family life is difficult. He is starting his junior year at a new high school across town from where he has lived his entire life. Leo and his family were forced to move after his older brother Caleb's erratic behaviors led to one too many issues with their neighbors. In the new neighborhood, Caleb changes his target and at night attacks Leo, which forces the protagonist to take up running at all hours. Leo does not want to bother his already stressed parents, so he just keeps running. When school begins, Leo joins the cross-country team. He quickly makes friends and attracts the attention of a pretty girl; things seem to be settling into place for him outwardly, but as life at school looks up for Leo, his situation at home gets harder. Early on in the novel, Currinder notes that Caleb has autism, but there are also allusions in the text to other developmental challenges. These are never fully fleshed out, and the vague descriptors lead to a murky understanding of a driving force of the book. Despite the obvious link between Caleb's attacks and Leo's running, that aspect of the book is never fully realized. The two sides—the sports story and family drama—are not quite as smoothly linked as they could be, which results in a forgettable narrative. VERDICT An ambitious premise that ultimately falls flat.—Carli Sauer, Carmel Middle School, IN

Copyright 2017 School Library Journal.