CM . . . . Volume XX Number 13 . . . . November 29, 2013
Run, a fictional account of Terry Fox's run across Canada to raise money for cancer research, was reviewed in CM when it was first published in 2003. Run has now been re-released by Penguin as part of a "Canadian Classics" series. Indeed, Terry Fox's story is now a 'classic' in Canadian society and around the world. Fox wanted to raise $1 for every Canadian to be used for cancer research when he began his Marathon of Hope in St. John's, Newfoundland in April, 1980. When he gave up the run in September, he had accomplished his goal, having raised $24 million dollars for 24 million Canadians at the time.
His story and example, amplified in the public consciousness by the recurrence of his cancer and his death in 1981, has inspired people to organize Terry Fox Runs in support of cancer research every year since. Every September, all over the world, children learn about Terry Fox, his tenacity and courage. The Marathon of Hope has raised more than $500 million in Canada and advanced the diagnosis and treatment of many types of cancer and related diseases. Not ironically, if Fox had been diagnosed today with the type of cancer that killed him, he would have been better in about six months without having his leg amputated. That's why he set out on the long, lonely marathon, to cure cancer.
It's fitting that another 'classic' of Canadian young adult literature, Eric Walters, penned a novel involving Fox, one which included adolescent issues. Consistent with his philanthropic approach, Walters, who supports a children's orphanage in Kenya, donates his royalties for Run to the Terry Fox Foundation.
This edition includes a foreword by author Deborah Ellis who captures the theme of the story:
So it was for Terry Fox, and so it is for Walters' protagonist, Winston.
An appendix offers information and ideas about the book and Terry Fox. Young readers can find out about the prolific Eric Walters and why he writes, go through a checklist of the characters in Run, explore ideas raised in the novel and by Fox's accomplishments and read quotes from him, a timeline of his life and the Foundation's work.
The work done each year to keep Terry Fox's memory and work alive ensures continuing interest from young people in his life. Reissuing Run for the next generation of youth is a welcome decision, one which may help them to face adversity and motivate them to change the world for the better.
Harriet Zaidman is a teacher-librarian in Winnipeg, MB.
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