Running With the Wind
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Running With the Wind

5.0 2
by John Foley
     
 

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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

Overview

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 crisis—Kelly 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 challengeshe faces and set his own course for the future?

Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Mary Ann Darby
Readers unfamiliar with the beginning of Jackson O'Connell's story in Hoops of Steel (Flux/Llewellyn, 2007) might feel a step behind as his story picks up at the end of his senior year and as Granny Dwyer, the woman who has been most like real family to him, dies. While others around him, including his girlfriend Kelly, seem to have life plans, Jackson is floundering. Despite a strong finish in track, he has no scholarship offers. When Gerry Dwyer, Jackson's former English teacher and friend, offers to help Jackson get a summer job in a boatyard that includes a small boat to live on, Jackson agrees, although Conrad Dean, the owner, seems bad-tempered. Jackson succumbs to the sea, and after a crisis with Princeton-bound Kelly, learning Conrad's life story, and hearing from his now-sober father, Jackson decides to pursue the life of a sailor, first with the Navy or Coast Guard and then at a maritime college. Jackson is a likeable protagonist, and the sports elements and conflicts help his tale move well. The story, however, is written unevenly. Without firm knowledge of events of the previous book, Jackson's estrangement from his family seems overly dramatic. Interesting minor characters people the pages as well, but they are given short shrift and cry out to be more fully developed. For example, bits of Buddhist wisdom from Gerry seem sprinkled in for effect rather than developing logically from events. Despite the uneven writing, this sequel should find an audience with high school boys and those who feel the lure of the sea.
School Library Journal

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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780738710020
Publisher:
North Star Editions
Publication date:
08/01/2007
Pages:
216
Product dimensions:
5.19(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.54(d)
Lexile:
840L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 Years

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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Running With the Wind 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Name: Star in Night Skies (Star) <br> Looks: Star is a pure black shecat with stunning golden eyes. <br> Rank: prey-hunter. <br> Crush/Mate/Kits: none yet but would hope to have one in the future. <br> Personality: she is kinda shy and cautious, but a great friend. Star is also very skilled ad agile.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dawn of Dancing Skies