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On the Run
Cover of On the Run
On the Run

A young boy discovers the real whereabouts of his absent father--jail!

Anthony hasn't seen his dad in years. The reason: His father is busy traveling the world as a wildlife photographer--at least, according to Anthony's mom and sister. The real reason: His dad has been a fugitive from the law and is now in jail, awaiting trial.

A young boy discovers the real whereabouts of his absent father--jail!

Anthony hasn't seen his dad in years. The reason: His father is busy traveling the world as a wildlife photographer--at least, according to Anthony's mom and sister. The real reason: His dad has been a fugitive from the law and is now in jail, awaiting trial.

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  • Kindle Book
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  • Available:
    0
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    3.8
  • Lexile:
  • Interest Level:
    MG
  • Text Difficulty:
    2

Recommended for you

About the Author-
  • CLARA BOURREAU writes screenplays for television and film in France.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    October 8, 2012
    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.

  • Kirkus

    September 15, 2012
    Resentful that he didn't know his father was in jail, Anthony determines to stick with him after he escapes, running away with him to the seaside at Nantes. For two years, the third-grader has been receiving postcards from his father's "travels." His family thought him too young to be told the truth: His father has been in a detention center awaiting trial. With relatively little emotion, narrator Anthony describes his discovery that both his father and grandfather had been professional burglars, his visits to the jail, the disapproval of his classmates when his father's trial is on the news, and how he joins his fugitive father and successfully conceals his getaway under cover of a fireworks display. In this fast-paced, present-tense account, Anthony's voice is believably naive and accepting. At home, he slept with a night light, but by story's end he's self-sufficient in the dark. He's grown, but his father has not. Anthony would like him to return the stolen money, to have a normal life. But his father justifies himself: Banks are insured; he's never been hurt. Honesty doesn't enter into the picture. First published in France as En Cavale in 2009, this has been smoothly translated by Maudet. This glimpse of existential amorality will leave readers with much to think about. (Fiction. 9-12)

    COPYRIGHT(2012) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    January 1, 2013

    Gr 4-5-There's little to engage children in this spare book about a boy who learns that his father is an ex-bank robber serving time. Fourth-grader Anthony Cantes was raised believing his absentee dad, Rafael, is a wildlife photographer who visits exotic locales. The reality, though, is more grit than glamour-his father is awaiting trial for an earlier jail escape. Anthony's older sister, Lise, tells him the truth. After his mother relates a weak, less-than-illuminating back story about Rafael, the boy begs to visit him in prison. Just as his father's trial is about to begin, Anthony finds himself the target of school yard taunts-no one wants to associate with the son of a criminal. Rafael breaks out of jail once again, throwing everything into turmoil. But this time, Anthony takes flight with him. At this point, the story runs away, too, losing all logical focus. Readers will be hard-pressed to believe Rafael's antics, especially the shenanigans he pulls to see his children post-jailbreak. A tepid romance near the novel's end between a policeman's daughter and the protagonist seems more creepy than cute. Ultimately, Bourreau's attempts to manufacture intense drama fail due to flat characterization and an implausible, dull plot.-Lalitha Nataraj, Escondido Public Library, CA

    Copyright 2013 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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    Random House Children's Books
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On the Run
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