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Running on the Cracks Hardcover – September 15, 2009

4.4 out of 5 stars 25 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 6–9—Still reeling from the recent death of her parents in a plane crash, Leo, a 15-year-old girl of mixed Chinese and English descent, runs away from an unpleasant living situation and boards a train to Glasgow. Remaining incognito in the city proves to be difficult, but she eventually finds refuge with a kindhearted, mentally ill woman. After seeing Leo's picture in the paper, Finlay, a 13-year-old Goth paperboy, figures out who she is. They become friends as he learns of her circumstances and volunteers to help her locate the Chinese grandparents she's never known. Finding them is imperative, as Leo doesn't want to be forced back to her aunt's home, a dangerous environment with a leering Uncle John. Donaldson's novel, told from the shifting perspectives of Leo, Finlay, and Uncle John, is slow to start, but picks up as Leo's predator uncle appears on the scene to track her down. American readers will find bits of the dialect hard to understand, but the slowly building suspense, strong characterizations, and a narrative that includes information about the Chinese immigrant experience in Scotland and insight into the lives of the mentally ill make the book a worthwhile read.—Shawna Sherman, Hayward Public Library, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

“Leo’s plight is universal and sure to attract the attention and empathy of many American teens.”—Booklist

“This fast-paced, richly characterized Scottish import, imbued with the important message that friends are the family you choose, will be a boon to libraries looking to add more world literature to their teen collections.”—Kirkus Reviews

“This engaging, bittersweet story follows biracial British teenager Leonora ('Leo') Watts-Chan… The fast pace and short chapters should appeal to readers, who will celebrate the hopeful ending.”—Publishers Weekly

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ 0805090541
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Henry Holt and Co. (BYR); 1st edition (September 15, 2009)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 224 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 9780805090543
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0805090543
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 12 - 17 years
  • Grade level ‏ : ‎ 7 - 9
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 12 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.33 x 0.86 x 8.06 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.4 out of 5 stars 25 ratings

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About the author

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Julia Donaldson is a top selling author of children’s books with over 65 million books sold worldwide. Among her greatest successes are Room on the Broom, The Gruffalo and Stick Man (all illustrated by Axel Scheffler), What the Ladybird Heard (illustrated by Lydia Monks) and The Giant Jumperee (illustrated by Helen Oxenbury). Julia’s books have been translated into over 72 languages.

Julia lives in the UK with her husband Malcolm and divides her time between Sussex in the South and Edinburgh in Scotland. From 2011 to 2013, she was the UK Children’s Laureate. Julia writes fiction, poems, plays and songs, as well as picture books. The TV films of The Gruffalo and Room on the Broom have both been nominated for Oscars.

Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5
25 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on January 28, 2018
Reviewed in the United States on October 2, 2009
4 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on November 5, 2012

Top reviews from other countries

S. Bradley
5.0 out of 5 stars enchanting but gritty
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 26, 2012
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5 people found this helpful
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Excalibur
4.0 out of 5 stars Really liked it !
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 19, 2013
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One person found this helpful
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Dominic
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 8, 2015
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CCG
5.0 out of 5 stars Great teenage orientated novel from Julia Donaldson
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 30, 2015
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Kindle Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Running on the Cracks
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 10, 2009
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2 people found this helpful
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