Wednesday 3 July 2024

Kids on the Run

Kids on the Run by Dianne Bates (Morris Publishing) PB RRP $19.99 ISBN 978064575981

Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis

Fourteen-year-old Josh has been placed in Foster Care, as his addict mother cannot look after him.  On the first night, the house catches fire, and Josh, together with Brodie and three-year-old Jaylee, escape the flames. The children are on the run, believing that if they are caught, they would be blamed for starting the blaze.

Josh has grown with no opportunities in life or schooling but is streetwise after being dragged from place to place by his mum. He is used to being alone and is resentful at having two other children in tow.

Regardless of his illiteracy, Josh is very resourceful. Lies slip easily from his tongue and his brain is always switched to survival mode.
Brodie’s father has just passed away and his grief is a palpable thing.  Jaylee has lost her mum and her only living relatives are her Aunt Ruth and her cousins who live in an unknown place.

Josh decides that they should find out where Ruth lives and take Jaylee to her.
But the best laid plans… often go awry. There are lots of obstacles to overcome, and many challenges to face. Who can they trust when there is no one to turn to? The three watch out for each other, forming an unexpected, strong bond with one another.

The talented Dianne Bates, author of over 130 books, and recipient of the Lady Cutler Award for distinguished services to children’s literature, has boldly created a gripping story. Full of tension and fast-paced action it gives a convincing view of homeless children on the run. Their fears, desperate decisions, and struggles to survive, gleaned through the dialogue and strong backstories and settings.
These are juxtaposed with the feelings of protection, loyalty, and trust that they form with each other. 

Highly recommended.

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