On the Run

Clara Bourreau, trans. from the French by Y. Maudet. Delacorte, $14.99 (128p) ISBN 978-0-385-74276-4
Originally published in France in 2009, screenwriter Borreau’s lean novel strikes an uneasy balance between the real and the improbable. Fourth-grader Anthony has been told that his father, Rafael, is a wildlife photographer who has been traveling for work for years. Though Anthony suspects that something is amiss—his father’s postcards always bear the same postmark—he is shattered when he learns that Rafael is in jail for bank robbery. Anthony’s mother’s flat recounting of her husband’s backstory diminishes its drama, but the boy’s prison visit with his father is undeniably moving. After Rafael’s unlikely escape during his trial, he visits Anthony in disguise and agrees to bring his son with him on the lam. Plausibility stretches further as the two take refuge in the seaside home of Rafael’s friend, who has also spent time in jail and who (inexplicably) introduces Anthony to a girl whose father, a policeman, is trying to hunt down Rafael. Despite an anti- climactic conclusion, Anthony’s fervent search for the truth, his longing for a normal family life, and his misplaced hope give the novel significant emotional depth. Ages 8–12. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/08/2012
Release date: 10/09/2012
Library Binding - 120 pages - 978-0-375-99076-2
Ebook - 52 pages - 978-0-307-97706-9
Paperback - 128 pages - 978-0-307-97705-2
Show other formats
The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!