Fire in My Soul, by Paul Corbet-Singleton

He loves racing almost as much as he hates it.
He is the best distance runner in the whole club. No-one can get near him. He wins, he breaks records and he loves it. But sometimes – like now when he’s waiting for a race, unable to talk, to sit still – he hates the whole thing.

James Salisbury is a talented distance runner, and he is aiming for the Olympics. There is only one thing holding him back – his inability to cope with pressure. James chokes in big races. This year he’s determined things will be different – he is going to train harder than ever and overcome his problem. Or is he?

When a new boy joins the club, James isn’t worried. Gavin Jellet doesn’t look like a runner, and James knows he can beat him. But Gavin and his father will stop at nothing to ensure Gavin wins.

Away from the track, a series of bushfires in their hills suburb threatens James’ family home more than once, and James realises that it’s not just his running career that’s at risk.

Fire in My Soul is a story about running, friendship and battling demons. Whilst James works to overcome his fears, those around him have battles of their own. His father is terrified of fire and its consequences, his friend Alison is coping with the loss of her mother, and his opponent Gavin must deal with an overbearing father. As the story unravels, it seems the ending is fairly predictable – so it is a pleasant surprise to see that it isn’t as neat as expected, leaving the reader thinking.

A satisfying read for ages 12 to 15.

Fire in My Soul, by Paul Corbet-Singleton
Lothian, 2006