Title: Terry Fox and Me
Author: Mary Beth Leatherdale and Milan Pavlović
Genre: Children’s, Nonfiction, Picture Book
Publisher: Tundra Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Release Date: August 4, 2020
Celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Terry Fox Marathon of Hope, this picture book biography tells the story of a friendship defined by strength and love.
Before Terry Fox become a national hero and icon, he was just a regular kid. But even then, his characteristic strength, determination and loyalty were apparent and were the foundation for his friendship with Doug. The two first met at basketball tryouts in grammar school. Terry was the smallest – and worst – basketball player on the court. But that didn’t stop him. With Doug’s help, Terry practiced and practiced until he earned a spot on the team. As they grew up, the best friends supported each other, challenged each other, helped each other become better athletes and better people. Doug was by Terry’s side every step of the way: when Terry received a diagnosis of cancer in his leg, when he was learning to walk – then run – with a prosthetic leg and while he was training for the race of his life, his Marathon of Hope.
Written from Doug’s perspective, this story shows that Terry Fox’s legacy goes beyond the physical and individual accomplishments of a disabled athlete and honors the true value of friendship.
When the new boy, Terry, wants to befriend Doug after he didn’t do well at basketball tryouts, Doug is reluctant to hang out with him. Doug quickly learns that Terry is willing to work hard to get better at the sport. Terry becomes a great basketball player and athlete, though he won’t run cross-country with Doug. Everything changes when Terry is diagnosed with cancer and has 80% of his leg amputated. Suddenly Terry is motivated to start running, creating the Marathon of Hope to raise money for cancer research. His best friend Doug stays by his side the whole time.
Terry Fox is a Canadian icon and hero. Every year, Canadians across the country participate in the Terry Fox Run in September. The run that Terry started in 1980 is honored every year with donations to cancer research. Unfortunately, Terry had to stop his run halfway through his cross country marathon. He started in St. John’s, Newfoundland and ended in Thunder Bay, Ontario. He passed away the following year though his memory lives on today.
I wasn’t familiar with Doug’s story before reading this book. He was a wonderful friend to Terry, who encouraged him throughout his recovery and training.
This is a great story for children because it teaches about the power of friendship. It could also teach young children who Terry Fox was and why he is such an important historical figure that we continue to honour today.
I loved this Canadian story!
Thank you Penguin Random House Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
What to read next:
Terry Fox: A Story of Hope by Maxine Trottier
Have you read Terry Fox and Me? What did you think of it?