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Children's LiteratureMina is just beginning to feel she has a comfortable place in her new school, with a new group who call themselves "Fellow Friends." Then the physical education instructor introduces a track competition and, to her amazement, Mina finds she has a real talent for running; in fact, she is better than her highly competitive friend, Ruth. The rest of the short novel shows Mina resolving the conflict she feels between friendship and being true to herself in a way that allows both to continue. There is no question that the central issue in this story is a crucial one for middle schoolers and the story realistically reflects the struggle many experience. The title "Moon Runner" captures the image of how life and friendship often follow the path the moon uses—oing from full to waning to full again. Marsden's prose is laced with such imagery. This is a good enough read but indubitably a young "chick flick" novel. It has the somewhat programmed flavor of an "issue" book. Mina's overnight transformation from "girlie girl" who hates running to star athlete isn't convincing; the one boy in the "Fellow Friends" group seems to be a politically correct addition. 2005, Candlewick Press, Ages 8 to 12.