Taking the Lead

by Karen Spafford-Fitz

By helping train a disabled runner, a competitive teen learns empathy and the value of sport for its own sake.

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
KAREN SPAFFORD-FITZ is the author of six books for children and teens, including the Lorimer SideStreets novels Push Back and Saving Grad, both named Resource Links' Year's Best. An avid runner, Karen has coached elementary and junior high students in cross-country running and in track and field. She recently ran a leg of a half marathon with a differently-abled athlete in a pushcart. She lives in Edmonton, Alberta.


"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
Janet Johnson, CM: Canadian Review of Materials


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

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