Liam wants to go to the park with his friend, Jacksie, and practice for a upcoming foot race. Instead, his mother urges Liam to come with her to help an elderly neighbor, Harry Miller, who is moving from his house to a care facility. When Harry hears that Liam is preparing for a race, he remembers a time when he was a boy, when he and his friends ran 13 miles from Newcastle to South Shields, just for fun, one perfect sunny day.
This book got several starred reviews. It is quite short, but full or nostalgia and heart. The way that Harry tells his story would make any adult long for earlier, simpler days when kids could spend the whole day running around on their own. I originally put this in intermediate fiction because of its length and because it is illustrated throughout. I think I will move it into regular children's fiction because Harry speaks with an accent and uses a lot of slang from northern British Isles. A early reader would only get frustrated trying to read this story. So the problem remains, who will read this story? It is best suited for an adult to read to a child and then discuss it with them. Unless librarians actively promote this one it will sit on the shelf, an undiscovered gem. (64 p)