Wendelin Van Draanen
"It's a cold, hard, cruel fact that my mother loved heroin more than she loved me."Holly is in her fifth foster home in two years and she's had enough. She's run away before and always been caught quickly. But she's older and wiser now--she's twelve--and this time she gets away clean.Through tough and tender and angry and funny journal entries, Holly spills out her story. We travel with her across the country--hopping trains, scamming food, sleeping in parks or homeless encampments. And we also travel with her across the gaping holes in her heart--as she finally comes to terms with her mother's addiction and death. Runaway is a remarkably uplifting portrait of a girl still young and stubborn and naive enough to hold out hope for finding a better place in the world, and within herself, to be.

Book Details


  • Fiction
  • Juvenile Fiction

Age Level: 

  • Any Age
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Holly is a twelve-year old orphan. Her father died in a freak tractor accident and her mother overdosed on drugs. Since then, Holly had been in the hands of social services and was moved from foster home to foster home. Finally, after a particularly abusive foster home, Holly runs away and becomes a "gypsy". As she goes through her many hardships of surviving on the streets and avoiding the police, Holly writes down poems and her experiences in her journal. Will Holly ever find a good home that truly welcomes her?

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