cover image On the Road to Find Out

On the Road to Find Out

Rachel Toor. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $17.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-374-30014-2

All Alice Davis—“champion taker of standardized tests, favorite of teachers, and only child of two achievement-focused parents”—wants is to get into Yale. So when the Early Action rejection comes, it sends her into a downward spiral that even her beloved pet rat, Walter, can’t shake her from. Alice vows to start running as her New Year’s resolution, which turns out to be both a challenge and a lifeline. Through running, she meets Joan, a former top-ranked marathoner who shows Alice how to find joy in life, and Miles, a homeschooled, shaggy-haired guy who wins local races and Alice’s heart. Even though Toor doesn’t throw in any real surprises—except, perhaps, for Alice’s lengthy discourses on the many upsides to rats—her heroine’s rejection and doldrums are relatable, as is her winding journey to figuring out who she is. For many readers who are just starting to feel the pressures of college apps, as well as those who love running (and maybe rats) as much as Alice does, this is a road worth taking. Ages 12–up. Agent: Elise Capron, Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency. (June)