All Lili wants to do is run. When she’s running she forgets all her worries, especially Tom and his constant remarks about her ethnicity. Born in China, Lili now lives in the UK with her adopted parents, she doesn’t remember much about her childhood but she loves the fact that she has two homes and is proud of her heritage.
Lili strives to be the best runner she can be and trains as much as she can at her local club and takes part in competitions. When her school announces that the Queen is coming to watch their sports day, Lili is determined to beat meanie Tom and be the first over the line.
Back in 1924, Eric Liddell became a hero of the sprinting world and claimed gold at the Olympics. Like Lili, he too was adopted from China and raised by Scottish parents. Lili becomes more and more intrigued with his story, both on and off the track. For her school project she enlists the help of her family as she unearths Eric’s way of life from library archives. She soon learns all about that great race and his fate when trapped in a war zone and he had to make some decisions that went against everything he believed in.
Lili’s gran suddenly falls ill and she rushes to the hospital to be by her side. With the project unfinished and sports day around the corner, Lili has to choose between supporting her family, completing her school work and beating Tom once and for all.
Roy Peachey has written a fantastic dual narrative story of survival against all odds. Full of drama, it takes a brilliant leap back and forth in time as we follow Lili AND Eric as they decide which path to take in their historic/contemporary worlds. Super cover art by Muhammad Asnan Hafidh really brings to life the determination and skill a runner needs to succeed.
Eric Liddell’s legacy lives on in his name sakes’ community centre in Edinburgh which is dedicated to helping children and adults in need in the Scottish capital and beyond.