Michael Harmon
There’s not much keeping Ian McDermott in Spokane, but at least it’s home. He’s been raising Sammy practically on his own ever since their mom disappeared again on one of her binges. They get by, finding just enough to eat and plenty of time to skateboard. But at Morrison High, Ian is getting the distinct, chilling feeling that the administration wants him and his board and his punked hair gone. Simply gone. And when his temper finally blows–he actually takes a swing at Coach Florence and knocks him cold–Ian knows he’s got to grab Sammy and skate. Run.Their search for the one relative they can think of, their only hope, leads Ian and Sammy across the entire state of Washington in the cold and rain–and straight into a shocking discovery. Through it all, Ian knows exactly what he has to do: protect Sammy, and let no one split up their family of two. Michael Harmon tells a nuanced and unflinching story of wilderness survival, the fierce bond between brothers, and teen rage–and redemption.

Book Details


  • Fiction
  • Juvenile Fiction

Age Level: 

  • 12 and up
Profile Picture

Morrison High in Spokane, Washington has no place for anyone but the sports teams. Ian McDermott is a punk skater. His little brother Sammy is a fourth grader who is slow in school and doesn't do well. Ian has to keep up in school and care for Sammy everyday. When Ian was four years old, his father left his home. Then, Sammy was still developing in his mother, and she was starting to smoke crack. They struggle to simply eat because their mother leaves no money for them, even on the rare days she is home. Finally, when Ian punches his gym teacher for being a jerk, they run away.

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