Running With the Windby John Foley
Graduating from high school is supposed to feel like the beginning of your real life. But for Jackson O’Connell, it’s more like a slew of endings. In this sequel to Hoops of Steel, Jackson’s dream of a basketball scholarship is gone. His surrogate parent Granny Dwyer has died and he has no place to really call home. His relationship with Kelly is in crisisKelly is Princeton bound, while Jackson doesn’t have a plan beyond the next five minutes. Even Jackson’s alcoholic father seems to be getting his life together. Introduced to a gruff old sailor at Granny’s funeral, Jackson reluctantly agrees to live at the marina and work at the boatyard. As Jackson experiences the rigors of working for a living and learning how to sail, he gains skills and self-knowledge. Is it enough to help him navigate the challenges he faces and set his own course for the future?
Gr 9 Up In this sequel to Hoops of Steel (Flux, 2007), Jackson O'Connell has been drifting since his parents' divorce. He is about to graduate from high school and has no definite plans for the future. He has been living with his friend Gerry's grandmother, and she has just died; his Princeton-bound girlfriend is putting the pressure on him to set some goals. When the offer to spend the summer working at the local boatyard and learning to sail comes his way, he decides that this is as good an opportunity as any. The lessons learned from crusty old Conrad move Jackson from chasing unattainable dreams of playing for the NBA to looking at his life realistically. Through the rigors of sailing, he begins to mature and to learn where his real interests are, and he begins to formulate a plan. Running with the Wind provides a powerful and honest approach to coping with life's difficulties. Many teens will relate to Jackson's struggles with self-doubt and the choices he needs to make. The book teaches a powerful lesson on the importance of self-reliance and finding one's dreams. An added bonus is the literary quote at the beginning of each chapter, each one relating to sailing or to the sea, reflecting Granny's and Gerry's love of literature.-Sharon Morrison, Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Durant, OK
Meet the Author
John Foley is a high school teacher in Washington State. He previously worked as a newspaper reporter in the Chicago suburbs and Alaska, covering sports, cops, features and any other beat that didn't require him to attend sanitary sewer meetings. Following a career change to teaching, he worked in Alaskan villages for several years, which led to his memoir Tundra Teacher. Hoops of Steel is based in part on his experiences as a basketball player. Foley was second string on the junior varsity at a Division III school, but prefers to simply say that he "played college ball."
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