cover image Road Whiz

Road Whiz

Darcy Pattison. Mims House, $5.99 (178p) ISBN 978-1-62944-098-9

Jamie Kruger hates being so big, towering above the other eighth-grade students at his Arkansas middle school. He’s growing constantly, hungry all the time, and bullied by other kids, especially rival Chan Maxwell. Jamie’s father, who travels for long stretches of time, doesn’t notice Jamie’s growth or isolation, and his mother is sad about her husband’s most recent work assignment: a year or more in Poland. To help allay the physical and emotional toll of being on their own, Jamie and his mom start running together. Meanwhile, greyhound Road Whiz’s racing days are over; when Forever Homes for Greyhounds visits Jamie’s school, Jamie persuades his mom to adopt the retired dog. Everyday life remains a challenge, however, until a Thanksgiving Turkey Trot teaches Jamie and his family about love, understanding, and what’s truly important. Pattison (the Blue Planets World series) attempts to connect worthy themes of alienation, bullying, competition, friendship, and family relationships into a coming-of-age story, but a lack of focus results in a missed opportunity to make a strong point. Ages 10–12. [em](BookLife) [/em]