Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Project: Run Away

Project: Run Away, written by Melody Carson, begins with Emily’s mother urging her daughter Emily and her son Kyle to pack their belongings. They need to leave their home and they need to leave now. She just found out that her husband, whom she left several months ago, has located them and is on his way to their house. Mr. Chambers is a violent man, prone to fits of anger and rage during which he abused his family. His wife took the two children and fled the state, changing their last name to Adams, in hopes of fleeing their past.

Emily doesn’t want to leave her house and her new friends, but she has no choice. Her mom cautions her not to tell anyone they are leaving, but Emily receives special permission to tell her best friend, Morgan. After they’ve packed their bags and loaded up the car, Emily’s family heads south.

When they stop for a break, Emily calls Morgan’s house from a pay phone without her mother knowing it. She tells Morgan where she is and which direction they are headed.

Before they get much farther down the road, Mrs. Adams is pulled over by a police officer. The officer did not pull her over for a violation; rather, the officer wants to speak to her. Based on information from Morgan, the police knew which direction they were headed and were able to track them down.

The officer tells Mrs. Adams her husband has been arrested and is in jail. Shortly after they left the house, he broke into it. He was caught by a neighbor who called the police and had him arrested. Emily’s mother decides to turn around and head back home, somewhat secure in the knowledge her husband is in jail and can’t hurt her.

After they find out what has happened, Mrs. Adams’ friends and neighbors rally around to help and support her. One secures the services of a lawyer who will work on her behalf free of charge. The story ends with Mr. Chambers in jail, awaiting trial.

Throughout the story, Emily must cope with her conflicting emotions about her father. She loves him, but she hates the way he has treated the family. Through much prayer, Emily is able to forgive him, even though that doesn’t mean she wants her parents to get back together.

This Bible verse from II Corinthians 4:18 is given as a reference for the story: “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."

What I Like:
This is a modern-day story, one I’m sure many teens, unfortunately, can relate to. As such, it tells teens who are going through this type of situation that they’re not alone.

What I Dislike: When I first started reading the story, I was caught up in the writing and the drama of it all. Then, somewhere around the middle, the story lost its, for lack of a better word, spark. The writing was not as strong and the story line wasn’t either.

And, the ending was a bit flat. I was looking for more resolution to the family’s problems.

Overall Rating: Good.

Age Appeal: 9-12.

Publisher Info: Zonderkidz, 2008; ISBN: 9780310713500; Paperback, $6.99.

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Special Info: This book is part of Zonderkidz FaithGirlz! Series. Read our reviews of other books in the series. Read our reviews of other books by Melody Carlson. Visit the author's website.

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