Runaway by Wendelin Draanen

79%

17 Critic Reviews

Fascinating and very well written (maybe too well for a 12-year-old character ?). Holly is a very charming character, brave and vulnerable at the same time, very intelligent and strangely cunning.
-The Book on the Hill

Synopsis

"It's a cold, hard, cruel fact that my mother loved heroin more than she loved me."

Holly is in her fifth foster home in two years and she's had enough. She's run away before and always been caught quickly. But she's older and wiser now--she's twelve--and this time she gets away clean.

Through tough and tender and angry and funny journal entries, Holly spills out her story. We travel with her across the country--hopping trains, scamming food, sleeping in parks or homeless encampments. And we also travel with her across the gaping holes in her heart--as she finally comes to terms with her mother's addiction and death.

Runaway is a remarkably uplifting portrait of a girl still young and stubborn and naive enough to hold out hope for finding a better place in the world, and within herself, to be.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Wendelin Draanen

See more books from this Author
Wendelin Van Draanen began keeping a journal after a family tragedy. Writing started as a way to sort through her feelings and frustrations, but grew into something she enjoyed for its own sake, and eventually became a new and rewarding career. Ms. Van Draanen lives in Central California. The author lives in Central California.From the Hardcover edition.
 
Published March 11, 2008 by Laurel Leaf. 290 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Literature & Fiction, Children's Books. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Runaway
All: 17 | Positive: 15 | Negative: 2

Kirkus

Below average
Reviewed by Kirkus Reviews on Sep 12 2006

Despite occasional lapses into uncharacteristically sophisticated language and decidedly philosophical musings, her first-person story, presented in journal form, will grab readers from the first entry.

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Teen Reads

Excellent
Reviewed by Emily Shaffer on Oct 18 2011

But Van Draanen is an excellent writer and Holly is someone to admire as she perseveres in a life that would destroy most people. Her story is worth reading and learning from.

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Common Sense Media

Excellent
Reviewed by Pam Gelman on Jan 01 2012

Author Wendelin Van Draanen, a former teacher, clearly knows kids this age well and actually spent time sleeping outdoors, stowing away in a bus, and exploring a shelter to have a taste of the homeless experience -- her research is evident in the book's careful details.

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HSJ

Excellent
Reviewed by Tiffany Chang on Sep 27 2006

Overall, Runaway was a touching story about a girl that just wants love and a family, and I would recommend it to those who need some inspiration in their life.

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Youth Services Book Review

Excellent
Reviewed by Blog Master on Apr 18 2007

This accessible story of self discovery will interest teens and is a good choice for reluctant readers

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Arlington Public Library

Excellent
Reviewed by Courtney S on Aug 22 2011

Runaway will keep you running after Holly until the last page is turned.

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Book Loons

Good
Reviewed by Kaszuba Locke on Sep 01 2006

I recommend it as a tremendous, powerful read, after which you will never look at a homeless person in the same way again.

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Bookshelves of Doom

Good
Reviewed by Bookshelves of Doom on Oct 24 2006

Runaway chronicles Holly's journey across the country, by train, bus and horse trailer. It isn't just a story about homelessness -- because, regardless of what Holly tells herself, she is homeless and she knows it -- it's an urban survival story.

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Uniflame Creates

Good
Reviewed by Uniflame on Feb 08 2012

The story pulled me in though and this is always a good sign

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Young Adult Book Reviews

Good
Reviewed by Young Adult Book Reviews on Jul 23 2010

Readers who like journal style entries like in Go Ask Alice will find this interesting. Also, fans of A Child Called It will enjoy this quick read about a similar topic.

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Flamingnet Book Blog

Good
Reviewed by Flamingnet on Jan 28 2007

I thought it was a great read and not your normal book. It contained many deep thoughts and insights into life which can leave you with a whole different impression of those less fortunate than you.

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Books4Hearts

Below average
Reviewed by Angela on May 25 2011

Overall, this was a pretty good book. I wouldn't recommend it, but I wouldn't not recommend it, either.

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The Book on the Hill

Good
Reviewed by Frenglish Girl on Sep 30 2009

Fascinating and very well written (maybe too well for a 12-year-old character ?). Holly is a very charming character, brave and vulnerable at the same time, very intelligent and strangely cunning.

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Bildungsroman

Good
Reviewed by Bildungsroman on Jan 13 2007

The author did a great deal of research for this book, and it shows. Runaway is a real eye-opener of a book. It deserves a lot of attention, and will inspire a great deal of discussion in the classroom and in the home.

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Curled Up Kids

Good
Reviewed by Jocelyn Pearce on Sep 01 2006

Even though Wendelin Van Draanen has a history of writing fabulous and popular novels (Flipped and the Sammy Keyes series, for example), Runaway exceeds the expectations of even her biggest fans.

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Reading Rocks

Good
Reviewed by Symborse on Apr 29 2011

Reading this book may make the problems you have in your life seem very small in comparison to Holly's. Despite the sadness the reader feels while reading about Holly's experiences, the ending will bring you comfort.

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Spellbound by Books

Good
Reviewed by Spellbound by Books on Aug 21 2010

The vulnerability of the character showed through in Draanen's writing and made this easy to imagine a 12 year old girl going through.

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Reader Rating for Runaway
95%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 111 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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