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Runawayby Wendelin Van Draanen
Synopses & Reviews
"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.
"Through her journal entries, 12-year-old Holly Janquell reveals her experiences living in foster homes since her mother died of a drug overdose two years ago. Holly has already thwarted the sexual advances of one foster father and now, living with the Evans, things aren't any better. Mr. and Mrs. Evans accuse her of lying, stealing and drug use, then, as punishment, lock Holly in the laundry room for days. It's her teacher, Ms. Leone, who gives Holly the journal ('It'll help you turn the page'). After a terrible scene with Mr. Evans, Holly runs away, eventually making her way to California. Constantly moving from place to place, Holly is caught off guard when Sammie, from the soup kitchen, offers help. Sammie introduces Holly to two women (mother and daughter) who eventually become the family Holly has been longing for. Holly's diary entries, which include poetry, unspool as ongoing conversations with Ms. Leone. Van Draanen's (the Sammy Keyes series) portrayal of Holly's situation is gravely realistic, though some of Holly's entries seem too perfectly written for a poorly educated 12-year-old. Still, readers will be drawn to Holly as she shifts between her search for a safe place to live, her anger at the foster care system and her reflections on the circumstances that led up to her mother's overdose. Ages 10-up. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
About the 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.
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