Running Barefoot

Running Barefoot

4.7 41
by Amy Harmon

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When Josie Jensen, an awkward thirteen-year-old musical prodigy crashes headlong into new-comer Samuel Yates, an eighteen-year-old Navajo boy full of anger and confusion, an unlikely friendship blooms. Josie teaches Samuel about words, music and friendship, and along the way finds a kindred spirit. Upon graduation, Samuel abandons the sleepy, small town in search of a


When Josie Jensen, an awkward thirteen-year-old musical prodigy crashes headlong into new-comer Samuel Yates, an eighteen-year-old Navajo boy full of anger and confusion, an unlikely friendship blooms. Josie teaches Samuel about words, music and friendship, and along the way finds a kindred spirit. Upon graduation, Samuel abandons the sleepy, small town in search of a future and a life, leaving his young mentor behind. Many years go by and Samuel returns, finding his old friend in need of the very things she offered him years before. Their roles reversed, Samuel teaches Josie about life, love, and letting go.

Deeply romantic and poignant, Running Barefoot is the story of a small town girl and a Native American boy, the ties that bind them to their homes and families, and the love that gives them wings.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"There is a great deal of sensitivity, understanding and emotion in Tavia Gilbert's narration, creating appropriate voices for the two adolescents as they deal with the struggles of just being teenagers." —SoundCommentary Starred Review

Product Details

CreateSpace Publishing
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Product dimensions:
8.80(w) x 5.90(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Tavia Gilbert, a six-time Audie Award nominee and multiple Earphones and Parent's Choice Award�winning producer, narrator, and writer, has appeared on stage and in film. She has narrated over 250 multicast and single-voice audiobooks.

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Running Barefoot 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 41 reviews.
Brookes_Books More than 1 year ago
I had a friend recommend the book, A Different Blue, by Amy Harmon.  I have not read it yet.  But when I saw Running Barefoot for free one day on Barnes and Noble, I snatched it up.   Wow!  I loved this book!  I'm not sure what I expected, but this wasn't it.  First off, the story was set in Levan, UT.  I have lived in UT before, but never in this kind of rural area.  It was fascinating to get a glimpse into the culture of this small town.  I enjoyed learning about the people in the town, how they lived their lives, and what kinds of hopes and dreams they had. Second, the author made one of the main characters an American Indian.  I am not familiar with much of American Indian culture.  Again, it was a fascinating look at a culture.  I have a minor in Anthropology and I love learning about other cultures and in this book I got to learn about two.   Third, the main female character was a young teenager and we follow her through her life until she is a young adult.  She was a strong young woman who did her best under all circumstances.  She had a lot of adversity, but seemed to keep going and work through those trials.  I admit I was in tears in parts of this book.  She was also a musician and I loved hearing about the songs she would play and listen to.  I wished I had continued playing the piano!  She also read her scriptures and had verses that inspired me as she would write them and study them. Fourth, this book had a great love story.  It warms my heart just now thinking about it.  It was an unusual romance with people from different cultures and backgrounds.  It started as teenagers and evolved when they were adults.   I would recommend this book to anyone that enjoys a good, clean romance as well as learning about cultures with which they may not be familiar.   Warnings:  Difficult adversity, but nothing graphic or violent I would let my 16 year old daughter read this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've rarely felt the need to shout out about a book. This is one of those books. The author has created a story so beautiful, I'll be finishing it in doses to savor it and recover from the intense experience each time I read a chapter. Approx. 275 pages. The first 74 pulled this shout from me. After book after book of the same tired story this one is a treasure. I find myself at a loss for words that will express my profound sincere wish that if you are bored by billionaires, cowboys, rockstars and damaged women all filled with angst and suffering, stuggling to find a HEA with plenty of unreal sex, you will read these 74 pages and remind yourself why you used to love to read. No sex in the first 74 pages and I'm positive if the author doesn't need it in the rest of the book I will not miss it.
KDH_Reviews More than 1 year ago
I’ve read a few Amy Harmon books before (see The Law of Moses and A Different Blue reviews on my blog), but I think this one might be my favorite so far. My heart feels full to bursting after finishing Running Barefoot. That’s exactly how I *want* to feel after finishing a romance book. And this is such a beautiful book. I know I won’t be able to do it justice. I love Amy Harmon’s writing. She crafts her story slowly, building a deep relationship between Josie and Samuel. It takes a while for them to come together, but this book is more about the journey than it is the destination. This is the kind of romance that I love to read about. I also greatly enjoyed the roles that classical music and Navajo legends played in this book. I’ve read a few reviews that thought they were overdone, but I disagree. I found the information interesting and felt that it added another layer to Josie and Samuel’s relationship (I liked that they each had something to share and teach the other about). You can read all of my reviews on my blog, KDH Reviews.
Anonymous 12 months ago
I purchased this book because of its price. Needless to say, the book is nothing like the synopsis. It was so much more. The author went in depth to truly make us understand and empathize with the scenarios in Josie's life. Such skillfully written, with a wide set of vocabulary and a detailed view of Josie and Samuel's friendship. I loved reading this book, it captured me from the beginning and i could not put it down until i was finished.
WrittenMelodies More than 1 year ago
Good writing is said to be fluid, melodious, and uses figurative language and other literary devices correctly without beating the life out of a work. Then there's good writing that moves you and swallows you up. Running Barefoot is not a book that you devour in one sitting, but one that you savor and slowly digest its beauty, page by page. It's a story that softly caresses you, gently rocks you, tickles you from head to toe, while plying butterfly kisses along the column of your neck; pulling out of you everything you have to give and more. "Like a shoe that has lost its mate is never worn again, I had lost my matching part and didn't know how to run barefoot." Upon reading that sentence, I said to myself, "Yep, I think I've fallen head over heels in love with Amy Harmon!" Straight fangirling going on over here! :-) So simple, but yet so profound, the powerfulness of that line kept drawing me back over and over again. After reading it multiple times, Running Barefoot wasn't just the title to me anymore; it took on a life of its own— acquiring new meaning each time I read it. Running Barefoot has it all—developed characters, friendship, romance, books, book discussions, a wall of words, transformation, and most importantly authenticity—real emotions, real growth, real beliefs, real people—I could not ask for more in a book. Josie's honesty is raw, refreshing, completely befitting her passionate, introspective, and sensitive nature. Samuel, oh Samuel, you are now and forevermore my book boyfriend husband. You, my dear Samuel, are a keeper and I plan to keep you. I loved Samuel's and Josie's thirst for knowledge. I loved how their search for self happened at different stages in their lives, but each journey brought them back to each other. Everything about this book I loved. There wasn't one thing that I didn't love about this book. If I had to name something, the editing could have been a bit tighter, however it by no means detracts from the story. Books may entertain, enlighten, enrage, or provide an escape to another world or from your reality into someone's reality, but then there are those that give you life—that breath and speak to you like no other. Boy, did this book ever speak to me! As I read, I was compelled to reflect on love, family, books, passion, and purpose. The more I read, the more the quiet questions rolled over me like waves. There were many places throughout the novel where I saw myself in Josie: the oddball sibling, always reading, the awkward 13-year old girl boarding a crowded school bus, in which most times we had to sit three to a seat, atypical thinking from my peers, having only one friend, comfortable in the quiet, and piano lessons (though I quit after a year, a decision that I since have come to regret). I read for the story, the life connections—how does this book speak of my life: past, present, and future—not to critique the craft. Of course, I cannot help but notice it as I read, but here both the craft and story are amazing. Harmon writes with such a quiet beauty that is sings. I'm scared, anxious, terrified actually, but yet eager to read my next Amy Harmon book. As one of Harmon's earliest works, Running Barefoot had me floating on an emotional high. How will her later novels, evincing her growth and maturity as a writer affect me I wonder? If they make me feel half of what I felt reading this book...I'm going to be a total emotional wreck.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Quite possibly the best book I have ever read!
Livlovesbooks More than 1 year ago
A lovely read! This novel had everything I’ve come to expect from an Amy Harmon novel – young adult characters that grow into interesting new adults. Josie was sweet, curious, open and intelligent. Samuel was prickly and smart but with a giant chip on his shoulder that time and service as a Marine finally whittled away.  I really enjoyed Josie and Samuel’s discussions about classical literature, classical music, and Navajo tribal history and culture. They stimulated and challenged each other early on in an unlikely friendship that began on a school bus ride one fateful day. Their age difference was a significant issue that was handled very well and respectfully by Samuel.  I liked how they never outgrew each other even with distance and another contender for Josie’s young heart. Both have to confront issues of self-identity and child-parent expectations before they can embrace a future together. I was especially impressed by Josie’s dad who knew just what to say to his loyal and loving daughter to encourage her to follow her heart’s desire. Thank goodness she listened to him! Humans really aren’t naturally wired to be alone romantically.
Myrtlebean More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved Running Barefoot. I read this after being introduced to Samuel and Josie in The Law Of Moses and just fell completely in love with them. Their story is just so deeply romantic and is one I'll never forget. ¿
SantanaBlair_TheBookNerd More than 1 year ago
Somehow this book went under my radar since I've come to read  some of Amy Harmon's books. I recently had my attention drawn to it upon mention that the main characters from this book would be making a cameo in one of my highly anticipated upcoming releases THE LAW OF MOSES. So I hurried over to one click it.  That was probably the best one click decision I've made this weekend. I loved this book. Utterly and completely LOVED it. I have been a major fan of Harmon since I read MAKING FACES and I was almost certain that it would remain as my favorite of hers. Then I read Running Barefoot... As the book blurb stated, the story is told in the perspective from Josie Jensen, a 13 yr old who doesn't fit in with anyone around her. She loves books and words almost as much as she loves music. She finds an unlikely but much needed companion in Samuel. Despite the age difference they find a common ground as they discuss and fall in love with literature and music, and their friendship becomes something almost sacred to Josie. She has an 'old soul' and teaches Samuel so much that he never expected to learn.  When Samuel leaves their small town, he also leaves behind Josie. She keeps the memory of her dear friend tucked away as the letters from him dwindle to nothing. She moves on, grows up, finds love and loss yet again. Her plans for the future return to being dreams that drift further from Josie's reality.  Then when she least expects it - but needs it most, Samuel returns and with his arrival comes the resurgence of their undeniable bond. Samuel is determined to reconnect Josie to the things that gave her life purpose confused as to why she has distanced herself from those things now.  "I didn't want to deal with old feelings that brought fresh pain. i was through loving people who would only leave."  Now a big reason why I probably (kinda sorta definitely) loved this book is because Harmon once again interweaves some of MY favorite literary loves into this story. Seriously, at the mention of Anne of Green Gables becoming Josie's best friend, I knew then that she was my newest book bff. It was confirmed again and again as she had intense discussions about Othello, Wuthering Heights, and Jane Eyre. The final book friendship validation was her reference to watching Seven Brides For Seven Brothers countless times... If I didn't know better I would think that Josie Jensen is me.  My love of Josie's character is undeniable but there is no love lost on Samuel either. Samuel's character growth from beginning to end is beautiful. The acceptance that Samuel was in search of, is evident in his return. The way he had with words was incredible. The way he loved Josie was the stuff LOVE is made of.  "You're not the girl I love best, Josie.                        You're the only girl I've ever loved. " I know I had a major soft spot for Samuel but even setting that aside, I knew that no one else could be the kindred spirit that Josie's soul needed for a true happily ever after. I was so happy that her father actually put into the book's dialogue everything that I was thinking and feeling. Josie and Samuel gave each other something that no one else could give them despite the best of intentions.  "What does Samuel do when you talk to him, Josie? What does he say? Does he hear you, the way none of us can?... I don't want you holdin' back all your life, sharing yourself in doses that people will accept. If Samuel is man enough to take it all, every last drop... then i hope you know where Samuel is... "  This is a phenomenal story from start to finish. It's such a unique premise that doesn't disappoint. A love story full of friendship, loss, culture, and spirituality. I have so many things highlighted in the book, so many beautiful quotes and things I loved that couldn't share it all, so I'm going to give this 4.5 stars.  I hope that you'll not only read it but you'll fall under the spell of this love story. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love this author's books!!!! Excellent read!!!! Highly Recommend!!!!
TalleyRoss More than 1 year ago
Rounding up on this one. I have read several of Amy Harmon's novels and have enjoyed them all. She is a talented writer that hits my sweet spot almost every time. "Running Barefoot" is the first book I've read in a long time where I didn't want to put it down. Harmon did a wonderful job introducing the small town of Levan, Utah, giving it a rich texture, one that carried all through the book. The main characters, Josie and Samuel, were as rich and textured as the town they lived in. They were believable and sympathetic. "Running Barefoot" was not a fluffy, comedic love story. But a story, told in Josie's first person perspective, that explored the paths of two people discovering who they truly were, falling in love, and then bringing their lives together in the end. In just a few paragraphs, Harmon was able to create a relationship that brought me to tears at its conclusion. I enjoyed the Native American lore that wove it's way through the story, and the references to classical music. (I have every intention of finding some of the pieces mentioned on the internet.) Since the story took place in Utah, some Mormon culture was included, but nothing heavy handed or preachy. I have only two negative observations. 1. At the beginning, Josie sounded much older than a 13 year old girl. But in all fairness, that was part of her character - an old soul is how she was referred to.  The 2nd criticism was that toward the end, the relationship between Samuel and Josie started to drag just a bit. Despite those minor issues, "Running Barefoot" was a wonderful, realistic kind of love story....just how I like them. Well done, Amy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very well written. Write more, please!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the first book I've read from this author and could not put it down!
amyfromnewengland More than 1 year ago
This is the second book by Amy Harmon that I have read. I enjoyed reading both of her books and I felt a connection to all of the characters in these books. I highly recommend reading this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. I could not put it down and was so amazed by the characters. Without question, my new favorite book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sweet love story
DonnaWDW More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book, though it's not one of those that you can't put down. The story line is good, about a girl who lost her mother at a young age and the responsibilities her life took on after that. The parts of the book that I kind of skimmed were where she and her friend are talking about composers and the music she plays. It is an integral part of the story, however a bit boring. Her friend is native born and there is quite a bit of history on that too. There again, interesting, but not the highlight of the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you enjoy reading a great romance book based in deep friendship and helping someone overcome past hurts this is it. The purity of the relationship is refreshing and the love of classical music that helps to teach and bind the relationship is a pleasant surprise. I always enjoy when culture of other people is explored and used to teach us and better understand who they are. I was pleased at the way the plot moved slowly in the relationship and they were able to teach one another. It was a clean and wholesome read, and I am looking forward to more books by this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So nice to read a SWEET story. From the beginning to the end. It was nice to read a story without the trashy stuff . Great to know that a story can be written without all that .