Puffin Books

April 2013

$14.99 AU

130p pb

ISBN: 978-0143307150

Runaways

Sherryl Clark

from the book...

The red balloon explodes
my blood runs hot from skull to toes
I grab my bag
and run

Cassie and her brother, Jack, are on the run from the past, from the future and from their failure of a family. But where can they go? And can you ever really run away?

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Runaways is a novel told in verse by Sherryl Clark using two alternate voices – Cassie and Jack. Cassie and her younger brother live in Melbourne with their mother, but when she can no longer cope with Jack, she arranges for his absentee father to come and take him away. Now Jack finds himself in Perth neglected by his dad and so one day gets up and leaves and finds himself hitchhiking across the Nullarbor. Meanwhile Cassie is making her way towards Adelaide…towards Jack.

This is a fast paced, action packed novel in verse about broken families, sibling bonds and loyalty. It is easy to read and full of tender moments, action and adventure. It is sure to appeal to readers from 10 and up. The contrasting voices are effective and clearly define the two main characters. Jack, who probably has ADHD, though this is not stated, has his sections all over the page with some icons while Cassie has her sections all in neat paragraphs which also add to the effect. I loved this verse novel and finished it in one reading. A great book for all readers from upper primary to lower secondary age.

Bea, Adelaide, Australia

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