Thursday, May 17, 2007

Runaway by Van Draanen

Holly doesn't remember her father. He died in a tractor accident when she was very young. Her mother struggled to provide a home for the two until finally descending into the world of drugs, overdosing dieing. At the time Holly was too young to make it on her own and was put into foster care. Most foster homes are good homes with good people, I was a foster mom. But, there a few people who go into foster care for all the wrong reasons. Her first home was one such situation. She ran for the first time and had to come back when she couldn't survive on her own. By the time she reaches her final home, another bad one and you'll see why, she runs and is determined to stay gone. She lives in a world of homeless predators, filth, fear, hunger, running anytime trouble seems to loom. Just when she believes she has found a home in a secluded place, a refrigerator box covered in hefty bags, a double whammy of rain and another homeless predator leaves her without a plan yet again and near hopelessness. She dreams of becoming a veterinarian with little evidence there is any chance of that. I am not going to give away the ending. This is a heart wrenching story. It is also, all too plausible, possible. Van Draanen writes the fast and fun Sammy Keyes Mysteries. This is a very different kind of story.
jdw 5/17/07

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