A SHINING SEASON by William Buchanan


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A glowing tribute to Coach John Baker, a runner whose Olympic hopes yielded to cancer at age 26. Baker was a New Mexico elementary-school coach, engaged to be married, when the diagnosis was made. He cursed his luck, considered suicide, but felt committed to the children he taught. His was a non-competitive program which prized fun over star performances and roped in everyone: even kids wearing leg braces were involved in play. Buchanan follows him through his last season, when he stretched a life expectancy of six months to eighteen and worked overtime for the Aspen Elementary Early Bird Clinic, the Duke City Dashers girls' track team, and virtually every kid who crossed his path. It's an upbeat story right down to the wire when the track team wins the national championship; at the funeral, even his doctor cried, and the children immediately pressed to rename their school. In the Brian's Song tradition, a generous memorial.

Pub Date: Nov. 28th, 1978
Publisher: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan