Charlie's Run

Valerie Hobbs, Author
Valerie Hobbs, Author Farrar Straus Giroux $16 (176p) ISBN 978-0-374-34994-3
Paperback - 165 pages - 978-0-14-230204-0
Hardcover - 978-0-7862-3104-1
Prebound-Other - 978-0-606-27077-9
Prebound-Other - 978-0-613-85722-2
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From the author of Carolina Crow Girl comes an emotionally complex rendition of a familiar story: boy runs away, then realizes there's no place like home. Eleven-year-old Charlie lives with his parents, three siblings, ""three dogs, seven cats, all the fish, and Molly the horse""--but now his father is moving out. Always a Boy Scout and his mother's ""Mister Sunshine,"" Charlie balks at his parents' implicit expectation that he accept their separation bravely. Hoping to teach them a lesson about broken families, he runs away. Almost immediately, he meets a teenage girl named Doo, a fellow runaway with a car, and together they head farther away than Charlie ever meant to go. Doo is fleeing her sexually abusive stepfather (the material is handled obliquely) and violent, drug-addicted mother; she is driving a stolen car to reach her drug-dealer father, who turns out to be in prison. Doo is an interesting and erratic personality, a rebel with a heart that's only sometimes made of gold, and her friendship with Charlie brings out the best in her time after time. In the end, after saving someone's life and nearly being sent to ""juvie,"" Charlie returns home, ready to value all that he has. Charlie's fate is never in doubt--it is Hobbs's energetic, honest storytelling that will hook readers. Ages 10-up. (Mar.)
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