Meet Sherman Leopold Kindle, aka K1, a ninth grader beginning his high school journey as a talented but apprehensive member of the cross-country team. Over the course of the season, he learns to rise to the challenge of the work through self-discipline, teamwork, and most importantly, empathy.
Sherman’s often hilarious, sometimes pathetic, and ultimately inspiring coach mentors all of the runners—whether veteran or rookie, braggart or slacker, star or dud—in less-than-conventional fashion. Despite his life falling apart, Coach Viddstein molds his team and leads them to their greatest success.
Written in the warm, nostalgic style of John L. Parker, Jr.’s classic Once a Runner, this novel is about the value of self-discipline and training, and how athletic skills strengthen character. As Sherman learns to conquer his own limitations, he discovers the lessons that Coach Viddstein instills in him are essential to understanding his conflicted feelings for his family, teammates, classmates, and the grueling sport that has chosen him.
High School Runner (Freshman) demonstrates that while individual races may be won or lost, the real sense of triumph comes from knowing how to pace oneself in this mad dash we call life.
“A solid debut set in the demanding world of high school distance runners, lit with pathos and humor.” — Kirkus Reviews
“If you’re a runner, this story is a must-read. If you’re not, read it anyway. Very funny.”
Mark Hentemann, Executive Producer/Writer Family Guy
“Funny, inspiring, distinct of character, and rich in detail, High School Runner rightly belongs in the canon of other fine tales of the track. Kenley more than lived up to my standard with such books: it made me want to go out and run—fast.”
Neal Bascomb, author of The Perfect Mile