On Barb’s Bookshelf: Full Cycle

This Father’s Day, consider giving a father-son gift: a novel that fathers and sons can enjoy together. Full Cycle by Christopher Blunt is just such a book. Perfect for readers age 10 and up, this father-son story follows sixth-grader Alex Peterson, a wanna-be athlete hindered from achieving this goal by an injury he received in an accident at his own birthday party. No good at running, he can’t excel in baseball like his younger brother; he’s the last one picked for the team in gym class and very self-conscious about his physical limitations.

Alex buries himself in his music and, asked to compose a score for a promotional video for a local bicycle club, he wishes to accomplish what the riders have done: cycling more than 200 miles in a single day, from Seattle to Portland. Then he finds out that his father actually participated in one of those bicycle trips–and he’s hooked. He wants to train for the ride, and he wants his father to go with him.

Full Cycle cover

Full Cycle is a story of perseverance, of teamwork and of looking beyond a disability to draw upon talents yet untapped. It would make a great movie.

As the daughter of a long-distance cyclist who just last weekend completed this year’s 6-day, 400-mile trip, I enjoyed the inside-baseball on what it takes to be a distance rider. (For the record, I do not have what it takes. I stand in awe of anyone with that kind of dedication and stamina.)

My dad on a bike trip with the Boy Scouts, circa 2008.

The well-paced story will keep you reading far too late into the night, but isn’t that what summer vacation is for?

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