Ideas for Learners Promoting Literacy, Inquiry, and Meaningful Learning Experiences
Ultra by David Carroll

Book Summary

This is the story of the youngest runner in a 100-mile race (remember that a marathon - a demanding long-distance run - is 26.2 miles long). Quinn is thirteen, and some people don't believe he should participate. He and his father had been planning to run in this race together, but Quinn's dad died a year ago. With support from his mother, best friend, and younger brother, he may just have enough endurance to face the obstacles in his way.
 book cover

Book Review

This is quite an interesting book, even for people who have no interest in long-distance running. It is told as if Quinn is being interviewed after the race, so there are several parts about his relationship with his best friend and his family members, including his grief over losing his father. There are realistic parts about the long-distance running training (I can't speak from experience, but I do have friends who engage in this 100-mile running madness!), and some challenges with regard to weather, motivation, physical hardships, and (less realistically) competitor sabotage. Highly recommended for independent readers who like an underdog story about someone working hard to accomplish a goal.

Topics and Themes for this book:

  • Running; Ultra-Marathons
  • Setting Goals; Perseverance
  • Ethics in Competition
  • Family Relationships; Friendship
  • Motivation; Support Systems

Discussion Questions for this book:

The best discussion questions, of course, are generated by and contemplated by readers. These questions are designed to avoid major spoilers about the book, and to provide a starting point for teachers, parents, and student reading groups.

**Questions coming soon**

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