There are many ways to meet a challenge, and they all don’t have to come from inside.
Two of the great fruits of McGillivray’s story are that it applies to so many people and it is true. True stories let us know that our dreams really can come true. Dave is a small white kid, and the games for big bruisers are just out of his league. But then he catches the running bug. Dave has dreams of standing tall on the podium, but his first marathon, at 17, is a bust (he’d only been training for a year and hadn’t touched 26.2 miles). Dave is crestfallen, but his grandpa counsels, “You didn’t fail. You discovered something…you discovered that big dreams don’t just come true. They take work, hard work.” Well, Grandpa isn’t there to see it, but Dave does train hard, and although he breaks down on his second try, he also gets up with the memory of hard work and completes the marathon. In a wonderful turnaround, today Dave is race director of the Boston Marathon. “And guess what? I always come in last.” It’s a consciously inspiring story, straightforwardly told with the help of Feeher. The mostly-white cast of Himler’s rather washed-out watercolor illustrations says a lot about how the sport has grown both more international and more diverse.
A salutary, mission-driven tribute to hard work and persistence. (map) (Picture book/memoir. 4-8)