Run for Your Life

Silvana Gandolfi, trans. from the Italian by Lynne Sharon Schwartz. Yonder, $15.99 (224p) ISBN 978-1-632-06165-2
Five-year-old Santino and 12-year-old Lucio are pulled into the mafia underworld in this novel, which is based on a real-life episode. With Santino’s first communion approaching, his father and grandfather steal some goods to pay for the party, but they cross a local Sicilian mafia member. Both men are killed, and Santino himself is shot but manages to hide. He is miraculously rescued, and he must now decide whether to inform on the men who killed his family or keep the code of silence. In Northern Italy, Lucio cares for his younger sister, while his housebound mother prays for a cure for her illness. When his mother disappears, Lucio believes that she has been kidnapped, and he must find a way to rescue her. Told in alternating perspectives, the two boys’ stories converge in a way that may leave readers scratching their heads. The language is sometimes stiff, with awkward cadences, which may be due to the translation, but the location and mafia connections provide much to interest readers. Ages 12–18. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/30/2018
Release date: 06/12/2018
Genre: Children's
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