The Pumpkin Runner by Marsha Diane Arnold

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"Nearly all the sheep ranchers in Blue Gum Valley rode horses or drove jeeps to check on their sheep. But Joshua Summerhayes liked to run...with Yellow Dog trailing behind him." So it's no surprise when Joshua decides to enter a race from Melbourne to Sydney. People laugh when old Joshua shows up in his overalls and gumboots, calmly nibbling a slice of pumpkin for energy. But then he pulls into the lead, and folks are forced to sit up and take notice. Inspired by a true event (and just in time for fall's pumpkin harvest!) a talented team introduces a humble and generous hero who knows that winning isn't always the reason to run a race. Marsha Diane Arnold made "an impressive debut" (School Library Journal) with the multi-award-winning Heart of a Tiger (Dial). Brad Sneed most recently illustrated Smoky Mountain Rose (Dial), an American Bookseller Pick of the Lists that Publishers Weekly said will "make readers 'happy as a pig in a peanut patch.' " Marsha Diane Arnold lives in Sebastopol, California. Brad Sneed lives in Prairie Village, Kansas.

About Marsha Diane Arnold

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Marsha Diane Arnold lives in Sebastopol, California. Pierre Pratt lives in MontrA(c)al, QuA(c)bec, Canada. Brad Sneed is the popular illustrator of many picture books for children, including "Deputy Harvey and the Ant Cow Caper", which received a starred review; "Grandpa's Song; I Heard Said the Bird; Thumbelina"; and "Aesop's Fables." He lives with his wife, Dena, and their daughter in Prairie Village, Kansas. You can visit him on the internet at
Published September 1, 1998 by Dial. 32 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Nature & Wildlife, Sports & Outdoors, Travel, Action & Adventure, Children's Books.

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Noting her story’s origins in the true tale of a 61-year-old Australian farmer who beat much younger runners in a 542-mile race from Sydney to Melbourne in 1983, Arnold (The Chicken Salad Club, p.

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When the villain, Damien Dodgerelle, brags that he has ""run two hundred kilometers a week for three months training for this race,"" Joshua says simply, ""I just check my herds, from sunup to sundown."" As the other runners lift 300-pound weights, perform one-handed push-ups and drink power flui...

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