I recall this book being highly recommended on several lists the year it came out, so I just had to read it.
This was definitely an interesting read. While the main focus was on Keita Ali, a runner from Zantoroland, and his life leading up to the big moment, we also focus on a few other people who's actions and encouragement aid or provide obstacles for Keita along the way. Zantoroland is going through some major political changes while Keita is growing up, so much so that his father was forever silenced for writing about the blunt truth, his sister is in danger and his mother forever lost in the system.
There is definitely hope, redemption and survival involved. The more you get to know Keita, the more you are rooting for him to win and rise above poverty, politics and all the other hardships along the way. Keita has the potential to be an amazing runner, and a lot of people along the way see this potential and do what they can to help. I definitely like the older lady, she is feisty and knows how to play the system. The boy and his determination to make his documentary about his shanty town area, that everyone in Freedom State frowns upon and wants desperately to wipe off of their maps. Viola who does what it takes to push beyond the stereotypes for people like her.
This was definitely an interesting read.