Strider has a new habit. Whenever we stop, he places his paw on my foot. It isn’t an accident because he always does it. I like to think he doesn’t want to leave me.
Can a stray dog change the life of a teenage boy? It looks as if Strider can. He’s a dog that loves to run; because of Strider, Leigh Botts finds himself running – well enough to join the school track team. Strider changes Leigh on the inside, too, as he finally begins to accept his parents’ divorce and gets to know a redheaded girl he’s been admiring. With Strider’s help, Leigh finds that the future he once hated to be asked about now holds something he never expected: hope.
<p>Beverly Cleary is one of America’s most beloved authors. As a child, she struggled with reading and writing. But by third grade, after spending much time in her public library in Portland, Oregon, she found her skills had greatly improved. Before long, her school librarian was saying that she should write children’s books when she grew up.</p><p>Instead she became a librarian. When a young boy asked her, “Where are the books about kids like us?” she remembered her teacher’s encouragement and was inspired to write the books she’d longed to read but couldn’t find when she was younger. She based her funny stories on her own neighborhood experiences and the sort of children she knew. And so, the Klickitat Street gang was born!</p><p>Mrs. Cleary’s books have earned her many prestigious awards, including the American Library Association’s Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, presented to her in recognition of her lasting contribution to children’s literature. <em>Dear Mr. Henshaw</em> won the Newbery Medal, and <em>Ramona Quimby, Age 8</em> and <em>Ramona and Her Father</em> have been named Newbery Honor Books. Her characters, including Beezus and Ramona Quimby, Henry Huggins, and Ralph, the motorcycle-riding mouse, have delighted children for generations.</p>