Friday 56 + Book Beginnings: Cross Country 101

Cross Country 101 by Dan Martinez Kindle edition | Paperback 

Hundreds of pairs of running shoes are crowded together behind the starting line in the California State Championship Cross Country meet. The shoes are many colors and sizes, but they're all made with an unusual economy of fabric and rubber. The uppers are featherweight nylon. The midsoles are a quarter-inch thick at the heel and decrease in thickness toward the toe--a streamlining that barely allows for cushioning. Tough leather trim holds the shoes together. The thin rubber soles are artfully designed to maintain traction over asphalt, dirt, grass and mud. These shoes are specifically constructed for speed and nothing else.
- p. 1

"Check out the kid, he's terrified," Rick says. 
-p. 56

Synopsis: Eric Hunt is an incoming freshman at Regal High School. His father expects him to go out for football but after being humiliated in a football scrimmage, decides to try cross country. He has some success despite being bullied by Beef and Crush during school. Eric, a slight-of-build frosh, then determines -- against student and parental expectations -- to excel at it. He makes the varsity squad as his rival Bryce, at Skyline High School, had already accomplished. Once on the varsity, Eric struggles through animosity from the upperclassmen while trying to maintain good grades. Can Regal cross country establish teamwork? Can Eric develop his talent enough to challenge rival Bryce?

Well, I can totally understand why the beginning is an ode to the perfect running shoe. I know what it feels like to have aching feet (and I just walk!). As for the page 56 quote, I don't quite know what would terrify me that would be running-related. What do you think it is?

Are you a runner? Let me, a walker, know why you love it so! Kindle edition | Paperback 


  1. I wonder what he's terrified of??? Hope it's a good read.... looks inspiring!

    1. I added you to the Linky. :-)

    2. Scared ... but terrified? Thanks Freda for linking me up!:)

  2. No, not a runner but a walker because I love to look at the sights. I'm wondering if the competition is too intense. Looks like a good read!

    1. i like to look around too, ladyd! it's lovely to walk even when it's snowing!

  3. haha love the 56 for this week! I can take a guess as to why he's scared -- I've lived it! takes me back to my high school years as a cross country athlete. we competed at the CA state championship meet too :) maybe I'll be checking out this book for a trip down memory lane
    happy new year, aloi!



© guiltless readingMaira Gall