RUN AWAY HOME by Mary Francis Shura


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The jump from Wichita, Kansas to Goldstream, Colorado understandably seemed a lot greater than a simple geographical span to 11-year-old Mike. Moving meant not only a new home, new scenery, new people, but giving up his paper route, his place on the baseball team, and his other hard-earned achievements. Changing homes is a common but difficult problem to handle in real life and in fiction. In this book the sense of displacement as it effects each member of the family and their reactions to the purely mechanical difficulties are gently but very honestly displayed. Except for Mike's younger sister, who seems too young for her school years, the family is well described as a unit and as separate personalities. Especially well-handled is the close relationship between the boy and his elder sister. With this framework, the formula ending comes as a disappointment. The unreasonable enmity of one of Mike's classmates, Brad Mitchell, increases his determination to return to Wichita. But Brad's sister conveniently gets lost, Mike just as conveniently is the only one who can rescue her (and catches pneumonia to boot) and Brad, whose personality points to his being even more resentful, goes all soft and friendly. For kids who don't have a handy way of becoming heroes, this isn't a very helpful solution to the problem of adjustment.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1965
Publisher: Knopf