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Going for the Record [Paperback]

By Julie A. Swanson (Author)
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Item description for Going for the Record by Julie A. Swanson...

Seventeen-year-old Leah's chance to make the national soccer team does not seem so important when she learns that her father has cancer and may only have months to live.

Publishers Description
Leah Weiczynkowski lives for soccer. She has just been invited to try out for the US under-18 national team, and she is ecstatic, high as a kite. This is a huge milestone, attained through fierce dedication and relentless sweat, one she's held keenly in her sights since she was a child. Leah's seventeen now, about to begin her senior year of high school in Traverse City, Michigan, and she is on the brink of realizing her dream. Nothing matters as much as this; this is her gateway into the World Cup, the Olympics. Everything she's done in her life up to this point was about this moment. She can't wait to tell her dad -- her biggest fan, her chauffeur to games, practices, and club teams downstate. Thing is, Pete Weiczynkowski has some news of his own, and it's neither exciting nor joyful.

Pete has cancer. Pancreatic cancer, a vicious form that knows no cure. When he lays this news on Leah, it knocks the wind out of her from the inside out, and a coldness seeps through her body, as if something at her very core has burst. Not her Pops. Disbelief leads to sadness and sadness morphs into anger -- not just about the unfairness of losing her dad; it's also an anger that asks, Why does this have to happen "now?" Just when she's hit a sweet spot in her quest to become the foremost women's soccer player in the world. Realistically, she has a shot. She's good, and she's determined. And now her dad is dying -- he's dying, and the doctors have allotted him three months, tops, to live.

What should she do? Should she go to the tryout camp even though it's a month before he's supposed to die? Or does she give it all up -- soccer, the dream, her future -- to be at home for the last weeks of herfather's life? This is Leah Weiczynkowski's dilemma &or at least it is in the beginning.

Awards and Recognitions
Going for the Record by Julie A. Swanson has received the following awards and recognitions -

  • ForeWord Book of the Year Award - 2004 Honorable Mention - Children-Y/A Fiction category

Citations And Professional Reviews
Going for the Record by Julie A. Swanson has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Kirkus Review - Children - 04/01/2004 page 338
  • Kliatt - 07/01/2004 page 24
  • School Library Journal - 08/01/2004 page 130
  • Booklist - 09/01/2004 page 110
  • Voice of Youth Advocates - 10/01/2004 page 308
  • Hornbook Guide to Children - 01/01/2004 page 401
  • Hornbook Guide to Children - 07/01/2004 page 401
  • Wilson Middle/Junior Hi Catalo - 01/01/2005 page 714
  • Booklist - 09/01/2007 page 135
  • Wilson Middle/Junior Hi Catalo - 01/01/2009 page 1019

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
Pages   300
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.5" Width: 5.25" Height: 8"
Weight:   0.6 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 23, 2004
Publisher   Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
Grade Level  Multiple Grades  
Age  12-17
ISBN  0802852734  
ISBN13  9780802852731  

Availability  0 units.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Children > People & Places > Family Life > Parents > Fiction
2Books > Subjects > Children > People & Places > Social Issues > Death & Dying > Fiction
3Books > Subjects > Children > Sports & Activities > General
4Books > Subjects > Children > Sports & Activities > Sports > Miscellaneous > Fiction
5Books > Subjects > Children > Educational
6Books > Subjects > Children > Literature
7Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Education > General
8Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Education
9Books > Subjects > Teens > Literature & Fiction > General
10Books > Subjects > Teens > Literature & Fiction
11Books > Subjects > Teens > School & Sports > Fiction
12Books > Subjects > Teens > Social Issues > General
13Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Teen

Christian Product Categories
Books > Fiction > General Christian > Contemporary

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Reviews - What do customers think about Going for the Record?

... thanks a lot peggy  Aug 22, 2007
way to go and tell the entire book's plot and details.

good book, quick to read
.  Oct 31, 2005
Going For the Record
Julie A. Swanson

Leah is a very good soccer player with a promising future, but when her dad picks her up from soccer camp; her whole life gets turned up side down. Leah finds out that her dad has cancer and only has about three months left to live. Her mom starts scheduling reunion after reunion so that the family can say their last goodbyes. Unfortunately one of them is on the date of the most important weekend of Leah's soccer career. Her mom doesn't want her to go but her dad insists on it. When Leah calls to check in with her family, her dad is worse and she is forced to come home early. "Going For the Record" by Julie A. Swanson is great book filled with emotion, making choices, and building relationships.

This book has lots of emotion throughout the book. Leah starts off as being happy when she is accepted onto the Regional team. After finding out her dad has cancer she is angry and sad. Towards the end of the book she is angry at herself because the only reason she wanted her dad to get better was so that she could play soccer. So she wanted him to die so he wouldn't have to suffer any longer. This odd pattern of emotions is strung throughout the book and makes each situation interesting.

Making choices is another big part in this book. Leah has to choose between many things. She is faced with choosing what college to attend. Leah has to decide whether soccer is really worth all the time she has put into it. Her family has to settle on whether or not she should go to the National Team tryouts or stay home for the reunion. These are just a few examples of all the life changing decisions Leah has to make in a few months.

Leah's mother is convinced that Leah and her friend are meant for each other and that they should go out. Leah constantly says that he is just a trainer and friend. When he tries to comfort Leah, she yells at him and their friendship is over. He tries and tries to get her to like him but it takes a while for her to become friends with him again. Leah also builds a different kind of relationship with her father as she watches him become helpless and frail.

"Going For the Record" is an outstanding book that deals with everyday issues and some not so everyday issues. It's a book worth reading and it gets you interested in the main character and her well being.

A. Coffin
Very, very touching  Dec 15, 2004
This journal type book is written by a young girl who sees her whole life change before her eyes when her father gets sick with cancer.

The main character enjoys soccer and has potential for scholarships. Her dad gets very sick and this book is about her fears, hopes and eventually what is really important to her.

A very touching and personal story. I thoroughly applaud the author for having the courage to write this book and I recommend to all to read it.
A gift to all youth grappling with life's biggest questions  Mar 20, 2004
Going for the Record takes you straight to the core of Leah Weiczynkowski's heart as she struggles to reconcile her love for her dying father with her dreams for her own future. Her gritty, courageous questions about life, death and what really matters will resonate with anyone who has lost a loved one at a tender age. Leah is so real, so true that you can't help but laugh when she laughs, cry when she cries and cheer when she finds the answers she's been searching for. This poignant and moving story is a gift to all young people who have grappled with big questions about the meaning of living.
A triumph of the spirit  Mar 3, 2004
Friday, June 20 is the best and worst day of Leah Weiczynkowski's life. Having just made the Regional Olympic Development Program's soccer team the summer before her senior year, she is on top of the world. Soccer is not only her life, it's the map to her future. But it all comes crashing down when her dad arrives late to pick her up from development camp and tells her the bad news -- he has pancreatic cancer. He has three months to live. He's dying.

Up to that point in her seventeen years, their family life has always revolved around Leah and her incredible athletic talent and drive to be the world's best women's soccer player in the world. Her dad has always been her biggest supporter, chauffeuring her to practices, games, and camps. But that summer it all changes. By necessity the family focuses on Dad, helping him cope and finding a way to cope with the cancer that brutally takes over their lives. And to further complicate her life, he wants to die at home. At first Leah feels angry and confused. How could this happen when her goals of a college scholarship and the Olympics are just coming together for her? She figures no matter what happens, she's going to need a miracle to get through this one.

When Leah's student coach Clay, out of genuine concern, gets a little too close, she pushes him away. As her dad's condition deteriorates, Leah gradually pushes everyone and everything away, including soccer. Her discipline and determination to be the best fades. Which is a blessing in a way because, as she soon realizes, dying has a way of taking the life out of, well -- life. She is consumed by helping her mother care for her father as he grows weaker. Yet as she learns about cancer and hospice care, and spends precious hours with her dad reading to him and playing cards, she discovers his faith and courage. Even though she loses her self in the process of her dad's death, she reaches down deep and finds her own soul.

While Leah's story is a real kick-in-the-guts and Swanson pulls no punches in the gritty telling, at the same time she offers readers a guide for coping with the suffering and the hope of life after death. This is a beautiful saga of love, loss, and the triumph of the spirit. Warning: you'll need a box of kleenex handy to get through this one!

Copyright (c) 2004 by Peggy Tibbetts


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