Moon Runner by Carolyn Marsden, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Moon Runner

Moon Runner

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by Carolyn Marsden

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"A quiet, lyrical story that sensitively explores issues of friendship and being true to oneself." — SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL

When Mina, a self-professed "girlie-girl," discovers that she excels at track, her friends are as surprised as she is, especially competitive Ruth. Even more surprising is the way running seems to lift Mina


"A quiet, lyrical story that sensitively explores issues of friendship and being true to oneself." — SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL

When Mina, a self-professed "girlie-girl," discovers that she excels at track, her friends are as surprised as she is, especially competitive Ruth. Even more surprising is the way running seems to lift Mina up and make her happy. When Coach chooses her to run the fifty-meter against Ruth, Mina is torn. Should she slow down and let Ruth hold on to the spotlight? Or let herself soar? With subtlety and insight, Carolyn Marsden explores the delicate subject of competition between friends.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Mina 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.
—Mary Hynes-Berry
School Library Journal
Gr 3-5-A quiet, lyrical story that sensitively explores issues of friendship and being true to oneself. When fourth-grader Mina moves to a new elementary school, she is relieved to be accepted into "the Fellow Friends" group of Ruth, Alana, and Sammy. Marsden subtly develops Mina as a somewhat timid person who needs to feel secure; her mother sometimes calls her a "stick in the mud," and Mina considers herself a "girlie girl," not athletic like Ruth. But during a tryout for the track team, she surprisingly finds herself flying around the track and almost beating Ruth. Frightened at jeopardizing their friendship, Mina purposely loses a race and then faces the consequences of her own disappointment as well as Ruth's reaction. The conflict reaches a satisfying climax when Mina gathers the courage to confront Ruth, though the ending-a relay race when their team wins-seems a mite pat. While there is some description of the sport, the action is predominantly internal, and the lucid prose is full of haunting metaphors. For example, as a school assignment Mina keeps a moon journal, and images of the moon are interwoven throughout the story. Readers who enjoy the graceful style of Patricia MacLachlan's family stories will relate to this accessible tale.-Caroline Ward, The Ferguson Library, Stamford, CT Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
New to her school, fourth grader Mina is pleased to have found new friends, Sammy, Alana and Ruth. All year, the "Fellow Friends" have shared in the construction of a Friendship Ball of yarn. When spring comes and the PE teacher introduces track, Mina, never an athlete, is surprised to discover that she likes running and is good at it. When she ties the competitive Ruth in the 50-meter sprint, she worries that their friendship might unravel. Losing purposefully only seems to make things worse. Can she keep Ruth's friendship and continue to run as well? In this gentle story, Marsden captures the overriding importance of friendship issues to girls of that age. Vivid detail and a recurrent image of the moon enhance the simple language. Mina is a sympathetic and believable central character, extending herself in many ways, trying new things like sleeping over at someone's house, reading more challenging books and even beginning difficult conversations. Middle-grade readers will recognize the familiar details of the elementary-school setting and enjoy the satisfying outcome. (Fiction. 7-10)

Product Details

Candlewick Press
Publication date:
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.33(w) x 7.64(h) x 0.36(d)
700L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

In the afternoon, storm clouds let loose with a quick little rain. By the time PE started, the sky sparkled with light. The dark clouds made the new leaves look extra green, the stucco walls of the school pinker. Stepping onto the wet grass, Mina found herself looking forward to running.

Then a cloud covered the sun and she shivered.

The cloud moved and the sun shone. The arc of a rainbow appeared. Mina stretched, raising both arms high into the freshly washed air. . . .

When Coach blew the whistle, Mina jetted forward. She dashed over the wet grass, the clouds overhead, the rainbow shining, each precious instant pushing her onward: one-two-three-four-five-six . . .

At the last second, Mina sensed Ruth next to her and turned to look. The look slowed her just the teeniest bit. When she arrived at the white stripe, Coach shouted, "Tie!" He held up Mina's arm and Ruth's.

Ruth stared at Mina, her mouth open as she panted for breath.

Mina had once heard a strange word: unquiet. It meant more than "not quiet." It meant deeply uneasy. She was unquiet now, with Ruth staring at her, looking as though she’d come home to find her house flattened by a dust devil.

Coach dropped their arms and patted Mina on the back.

"Congratulations. Don't look so surprised, Mina."

Ruth held out her hand. "Congratulations." But she didn't look Mina in the eye.

MOON RUNNER by Carolyn Marsden. Copyright (c) 2005 by Carolyn Marsden. Published by Candlewick Press, Inc., Cambridge, MA.

Meet the Author

Carolyn Marsden is the author of THE GOLD-THREADED DRESS, which received much critical acclaim and was named a BOOKLIST Top Ten Youth First Novel; SILK UMBRELLAS; and MAMA HAD TO WORK ON CHRISTMAS. Of MOON RUNNER she says, "When my eleven-year-old daughter became a sudden track star, I sensed the potential for a good story. As the conflict developed between her and her athletic friend, I knew this was a story I had to write." Carolyn Marsden has an MFA in Writing for Children from Vermont College and lives in California with her husband, mother, and two daughters.

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Moon Runner 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this is a great book. it gives a great reason to read books. it teaches a lesson about being thougtful of friends and to not boast in thier faces.