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STEALING HENRY by Carolyn MacCullough


by Carolyn MacCullough

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: April 1st, 2005
ISBN: 1-59643-045-1
Publisher: Roaring Brook

“The night Savannah brains her stepfather with the frying pan is the night she decides to leave home for good,” begins this finely crafted fiction about running away in desperation. For years, Savannah and her single mother lived nomadically and companionably, traveling by car, not always having enough to eat. Flashbacks from that period of time and from the year 18-year-old Alice got pregnant with Savannah alternate with Savannah’s current story: Seventeen and unable to bear her violent stepfather any longer, she grabs her little brother Henry and runs away. MacCullough doesn’t spell everything out; instead, she skillfully uses actions and memories to let loneliness and hurt show themselves in their own way. The resolution is neither perfect nor entirely hopeless: Alice catches up with them and takes Henry home without Savannah, but people from Alice’s earlier life intersect bittersweetly (and surprisingly) with Savannah’s new home. Plainspoken, lyrical and sad. (Fiction. YA)