Run Rebel

Manjeet Mann

Penguin Books

March 2020

$16.99 AU

490p pb

ISBN: 978-0241411421

from Penguin Australia...

I am restless, my feet need to fly.

Amber is trapped - by her father's rules, by his expectations, by her own fears.

Now she's ready to fight - for her mother, for her sister, for herself.

Freedom always comes at a price.

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British-Indian girl, Amber, only feels truly free when she is running. Then she can escape her reality, one which involves violence, poverty and family tradition and expectations. As a girl, she is expected to submit to her fatherís wishes Ė arranged marriage, servitude and saving family face. With both her parents illiterate, and living with domestic violence, her father often drunk and taking his problems out on his wife, Amber lives two lives. Her history lessons on the stages of revolution inspire a rebellion in her but will she have the strength and fortitude and what price will she have to pay?

This book reminds me why I so love novels-in-verse. It is an incredibly powerful read with it short sharp sentences and its structure; it effectively includes two other voices Ė Amberís mum and sister, Ruby. All characters are fully rounded, showing flaws and the fast pace of the novel along with heavy themes (eg family, domestic violence, poverty) this book sure has an impact. Well-paced and cleverly structured around the seven stages of a revolution this is highly recommended for all young adult readers and it is no wonder it has been short listed for the Carnegie Childrenís Book Award. I look forward to reading Manjeet Mannís next book!

Bea, Canberra

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