As fast as I can Buy Book

“This book is likely to evoke empathy in young readers. It will give them pause for thought about the price of ambition and the things that matter in life.”

- Reading Time

“Penny Tangey has a talent for writing light-hearted, humorous novels that tackle some big issues.”

- Good Reading

“A charming story of dealing with life's ups and downs, learning resilience, dreaming and achievement.”

- Schooldays Magazine

“I would certainly recommend this title: I enjoyed the story and the way in which themes including friendship, sibling rivalry, body image and competition were presented.”

- Buzzwords

“This book would be a perfect class novel to be read aloud and discussed with students from Year 5 upwards.”

- Read Plus

“This is a fabulous story about friendships both old and new, having a dream, being determined and being resilient.”

- Lamont Books

“There are plenty of emotional highs and lows to engage young readers leavened by a delicious sense of humour.”

- StoryLinks

“From the first page Vivian and her determination to never give up, sets the scene for a heartfelt story that will captivate.”

- Blue Wolf Reviews

“I feel like my younger self would have been in love with this book.⁣”

- Bookish Universe

“As Fast as I can has it all. An adorable yet headstrong main character, caring parents, typical love/hate sibling relationship and one hell of a dream. ”

- Book and the Beauty

“I enjoyed this book but I also found it really weird. I mainly found it strange because I’ve never read a book in which I so totally felt like I was seeing the world as my younger self did.”

- Confessions of a Readaholic

“Vivian is a firecracker. From page one we are bowled over by her enthusiasm and energy. Her eagerness pushes the pacing of this book forward.”

- Bookish Intoxication

“Diving into this book, I instantly found myself cheering for Viviam, despite all the setbacks that she hits within this book. ”

- Chemical Book Dragon

“Vivian is an incredibly endearing character. ”

- Gilly Reads

“An enjoyable middle grade book, it did a really great good is exploring the intersection between childhood goals, health barriers, family and friendship and growing up in Australia.”

- The Owl Reader

“This was a story of glory, passion and loss. And it high-key broke my heart.”

- Otaku and Proud

“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. ”

- Thoughts by Tash

“It was perfect in every way, from page one I felt a connection to Vivian.”

- Intently Reading

“As Fast As I Can by Penny Tangey is honestly just such a beautiful, heart wrenching and completely at the same time, an uplifting and inspiring read! ”

- AusYABloggers

“It is entertaining and thought provoking, bringing up important issues such as mental health and how sudden life changes can affect anyone of any age. ”

- Flamingo Seratonin

“Penny never talks down to her middle grade audience. There are no easy answers to some of the issues raised, but importantly, there is always hope.”

- Aussie Kids Books

As fast as I can

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.


Teacher’s notes prepared by University of Queensland Press

Information on inherited heart conditions

Australian Genetic Heart Disease Registry – ‘Genetic inheritance

Heart Research Australia – ‘Heart conditions


Positive Body Image resources

Butterfly Foundation – ‘Body image tips for young people

Positive Psychology – ‘3 positive body image activities & worksheets

How Far is Too Far – ‘Creating a body positive school


Winner Queensland Literary Awards (Griffith University Children’s Award)

Winner Readings Children’s Book Prize

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