Alumni Publishes First Novel, Bases Character & Setting on Ladue Schools

Michael Currinder (Ladue Schools Class of ’83) has recently published his first novel for young adults titled Running Full Tilt. Praised by Newbery medal winner Jack Gantos as “a quick read with a kick at the finish,” his novel sensitively and memorably captures a teen runner’s relationship with his older brother who is autistic. The novel is set in Ladue Horton Watkins High School circa 2006, and the Coach Gorsky character is based upon former Ladue Schools track coach legend, Phil Brusca. The American Library Associations Booklist publication recently awarded the novel a starred review stating, “The characterizations are complex and realistic, with sensitively depicted virtues and flaws, evoking empathy and sympathy in the reader. Currinder’s novel is poignant and powerful, with a story that is greater than the sum of its parts.”

Michael ran cross country and track at Ladue Schools, and earned a college athletic scholarship to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His first novel is a hybrid of his collective experiences as a competitive runner and as an adolescent with an autistic sibling. Michael is currently living in Tokyo and is teacher and track and cross country coach at The American School in Japan.