As Fast As I Can by Penny Tangey
Published by UQP on March 31st 2020
Genres: Middle Grade Contemporary (LoveOZMG)\
Add to Goodreads
From CBCA-shortlisted author Penny Tangey comes this funny, heartfelt novel about ten-year-old Vivian and her quest to one day become an Olympic middle-distance runner. Dealing with themes around chronic illness, persistence and acceptance.
One girl. One dream. A few hurdles.
Ten-year-old Vivian is determined to win a medal at the Olympic Games one day. Problem is, she hasn’t found a sport she’s any good at yet. But everyone says if you work hard enough you can achieve anything, right? So when Vivian discovers she has a talent for cross country running, finally, her Olympic dream might actually come true.
But then a family illness is uncovered and all of Vivian’s plans begin to unravel. Can she keep her dream alive? Or will she be stopped in her tracks?
A funny, heartfelt novel about resilience, acceptance and dreaming big.
Penny Tangey’s As Fast I Can is bundle of surprises. It introduces us to ten year old Vivian who is trying to find her thing. The one thing she can call her own and make it special to her. Vivian is like many other ten years old I know. Her world revolves around her family and best friend Olivia. She still has the innocent childhood bond that isn’t coloured by outside factors yet.
Until the quest changes and life gets complicated with family illness.
Overnight in this book, we see things changed and it’s not easy to deal with from a ten year old perspective. I love the comeradeship that shone through the book and the young feminist approach the girls take at one point.
This book is refreshing for Middle Grade given the issues at hand. Tangey does put a well thought out book. This book strikes the right balance between the high and lows. It’s not an easy subject to address and she does well from a Grade Five perspective. I can’t remember the last time, I read a Middle Grade book that tackled these issues ripping the bandaid off and offering all perspectives.
It’s not an overnight fix and I do applauded the author for creating scenes where Vivian deals with things from a 10 year old perspective. It’s not easy at this age especially with the change that happen in this book. She quite mature at some points and I loved the whole badge approach in the book. Tangey makes readers really question themselves in this story.
This book is perfect for those middle grade readers who are trying to find their spot in the world. As Fast I Can is about trying and never giving up. Even if there is a road block or two along the way that may stop you in your tracks and cause you some hurt. There always be a rainbow at the end of the road . This will definitely not be the last I read of Tangey who captured the heart of a ten year old so perfectly and made this book timeless. .
About The Author
Penny Tangey writes humorous books for young people. Penny studied Arts/Science at Melbourne University majoring in Chemistry and Indonesian. While at university Penny performed stand-up comedy, including in the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Penny now works as a researcher for television quiz shows Hard Quiz and The Chase, but is still terrible at trivia.
Penny’s latest book As fast As I Can, is her fourth book published by University of Queensland Press. Her three previous novels being; Loving Richard Feynman, Clara in Washington, and Stay Well Soon.
Website – https://pennytangey.com.au/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/tangthe