A runaway thriller for fans of Anne Cassidy and Jacqueline Wilson, by Children's Laureate Julia Donaldson. Driven away by the disturbing behaviour of her uncle, 15-year-old Leo flees her aunt's home, where she has been living since the sudden death of her musician parents. She heads to Glasgow, hoping to discover the secret behind the feud between ...
A runaway thriller for fans of Anne Cassidy and Jacqueline Wilson, by Children's Laureate Julia Donaldson. Driven away by the disturbing behaviour of her uncle, 15-year-old Leo flees her aunt's home, where she has been living since the sudden death of her musician parents. She heads to Glasgow, hoping to discover the secret behind the feud between her father and his Chinese family. Leo's journey is peopled with fabulous characters, including 13-year old Finlay - an amateur sleuth and even-more-amateur Goth - and Mary - a Johnny Cash-and-chocolate-biscuit fanatic. In Running on the Cracks, Julia Donaldson has crafted a funny, moving, heart-stopping thriller with characters that will stay in your heart long after you have turned the final uplifting page. Julia has long been a household name thanks to her raft of best-selling picture books, but in her first book for teens she offers readers who enjoyed The Gruffalo as a child something completely new.
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Publishers Weekly, 2009-09-28 This engaging, bittersweet story follows biracial British teenager Leonora ("Leo") Watts-Chan, who was orphaned when her parents were killed in a plane crash, and has fled the home of her maternal aunt and perverted uncle. Interspersed with Leo's first-person narration are third-person accounts of Finlay, a teenage goth wannabe who first encounters Leo when she steals a bag of doughnuts; the musings of Leo's uncle, hot on her trail; and newspaper articles and letters. Rescued from homelessness by Mary, a former psychiatric patient, Leo is determined to find the paternal grandparents she has never met. With the help of unlikely friends and a string of coincidences, Leo finds her father's family and learns the value of friendship ("I kind of think of the friends as my family too, as they've all been so good to me"). The characters in Donaldson's (The Gruffalo; Room on the Broom) YA debut are well drawn and their imperfections are authentic, particularly Mary's battle with mental illness. Despite heavy themes, the story is neither bleak nor gritty. The fast pace and short chapters should appeal to readers, who will celebrate the hopeful ending. Ages 12-up. (Sept.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
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