Running with Rachel fairly glows with wholesome virtue, but the mere existence of a running book for eight-to-twelve-year-olds smacks of a decadent culture. And there is internal evidence: ""Running not only changed how I felt about myself but it changed how I looked too. I used to have a pot belly and was afraid of becoming fat""--this from an eleven-year-old whom the photos show to be in no danger of obesity. The self-consciousness of the running regimen is reflected in the plan of the book (advice handed out in contrived conversations) and in Rachel's first-person pitch: having just purchased her running shoes, shorts, and T-shirt, Rachel looks with satisfaction into the mirror at ""the new me--the running me."" Indeed, the metamorphosis is thoroughgoing: ""I've even started growing my own alfalfa sprouts""; what's more ""heavy, greasy foods and. . . snack foods or sweets. . . just don't appeal to me as much as they used to."" In fact, with the admission that she also now takes B, C, and a multivitamin, poor Rachel seems to be tailing into a lifestyle when she should De simply living.