Cover Image: On the Run

On the Run

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Member Reviews

I got an ARC of this book.

Fun fact about me, I was a jail guard for a few months and then I left, but I now volunteer with the kids like Ryan. When I read the books in this series, I always ask myself a few questions to see how I will rate them. 

The first question is: would any of the kids I work for read this book? I think they would. It really goes into subject areas that they would care about and that hit close to home for them. 

The second question is: would any of the kids like this book? In this case I would say no. Ryan switched so quickly into being a "good kid" that the kids wouldn't be able to identify with him. Some of them would, but the majority would say he was a punk or worse. They would say that the guards deserved what happened in the book and that Ryan should not have been picked up or punished at all. They would blame everyone except Ryan. They would probably even talk badly about Pete who seems to be the big savior in this book, because he stopped Ryan from hanging out with new friends. 

The third question is: does this book have a good lesson for the kids? Hell yeah. This book shows that just because you messed up doesn't mean you are bad. It shows that you can changed for the better. It shows that there are people out there that will care for you, that they don't have to be related by blood. These are the sorts of messages I try to get into the kids heads. I am so happy when I see them doing well when they are out. When they give me updates outside when they see me at court or in the facility, I am beyond proud. I hope that Ryan can pull off his changes and really make a difference in his own life. He has the support he needs and the book ended on a hopeful note. 

Why not five stars? It felt a lot like an episode of the Brady Bunch. There was too much nice and not enough reality in the book. It fell a bit flat. So while I really enjoyed the lesson and the reading level it was written on, I needed a bit more conflict to show that Ryan had to make the conscious choice to change and actually wanted to change. I needed a bit more motivation for him and for Pete. So not a bad book, but it felt like it wasn't a full story.
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Another solid hi-lo book that I will be recommending to my teens. I love Sidestreets, and On the Run is up there for one of my top favourites. I really liked the character of Ryan, and was really into his story. Good, solid read, and my library already has its copy on the shelves.
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E ARC from Netgalley.com



Ryan can't get a break, mainly from himself. In and out of juvenile detention from the age of thirteen, he goes before the court yet again. The judge decides to give him one more change to turn things around before he turns 18 and is subject to adult court. For a while, Ryan keeps his curfew, but when he finally gets antsy and ventures out, he accidentally gets in the way of a breaking and entering in progress. When he goes home, he has to deal with his drunken and abusive father, who kicks him out of the house. Ryan decides to hitchhike far away from his town, and gets picked up by a trucker, Pete. Luckily, Pete had a similar background and knows that Ryan needs someone on his side, even after Ryan sneaks out of the hotel where the two are staying and gets involved with yet another bad set of guys. Leaving that trouble behind, the two make their way across Canada, only to get caught in the snow and a bad accident. Ryan is caught, but the policeman is glad to report that Ryan's actions saved Pete's life. Back in juvenile detention, Ryan has to deal with several bad guys from various parts of his past, but keeps reflecting on lessons he learned from Ryan, as well as some of the helpful staff at the center. Will it be enough for Ryan to get his GED and turn his life around?
Strengths: I certainly have readers who will want to read about Ryan's flirtings with the law; this has a very Buford High feel to it. We see Ryan make a number of typically bad decisions, but he is not without redemption. Running away and being on the truck with Pete was the best part for me, but some of my students might find the juvenile detention scenes more interesting. 
Weaknesses: Ryan has F***U tattoed on his knuckles, and this is mentioned. Also, there are a lot of Canadian references and terms; my students don't seem to be too bothered by this in other Lorimer titles, but some readers might be confused. 
What I really think: If this becomes available in a prebind, I will probably purchase.
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This story was actually not bad.  I found myself getting invested in Ryan's story and was silently cheering him on.

Talk about having a knack for being at the wrong place, at the wrong time.  Some "typical" scenarios though, which brought the book down, but the unexpected encounter he has at the beginning of the book was a nice surprise.

Well written and quite enjoyable.
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