Genre: Historical, coming of age
Key Stage: KS2/3
The Race by Roy Peachey (2021)
Combining history and a coming-of-age story, The Race’s dual narrative moves back and forth between the fictional Lili, a twelve-year-old running enthusiast and the 1924 Olympian Eric Liddel who in 1944 was interned at the Japanese Weifang Internment Camp in China (where he was born to Scottish parents in 1902) after returning to Northern China as a missionary from Scotland.
A talent and passion for running binds Lili and Liddel despite the decades dividing them however their strength of character, courage and moral purpose is another commonality that transcends this. Within the personal challenges and decisions they each face, Peachey sensitively explores struggle and adversity, denigration, intolerance and racism.
The Race is a story of bravery and resilience, a tale of the need to make and see through difficult decisions. Incidentally, Liddel’s life was made famous by the classic 1981 film Chariots of Fire which I fuzzily remember watching as a child and must watch again to fully appreciate his legacy post reading.
Reviewer: Ms Harrison