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RUN FAR, RUN FAST by Timothy Decker


by Timothy Decker & illustrated by Timothy Decker

Age Range: 10 - 12

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-1-59078-469-3
Publisher: Front Street/Boyds Mills

“Every year was the same until her tenth summer. The Pestilence entered the girl’s world like a tide.” Obeying her mother’s command to “Run far, run fast,” a child flees her plague-ridden village in this absorbing, if fragmentary, tale. The world she encounters is a troubled one—depopulated, ruled by terror, dangerous to traverse alone. Still, as she discovers, compassion survives. The brief text, presented in a hand-lettered–style font, links fine-lined pen-and-ink illustrations that are framed, on alternate pages, in multiple panels that can be “read” in any order. Though Decker creates convincing late-medieval backdrops, he dresses the young wanderer in clothing that looks modern, and he draws figures with such minimalism that the sex of the adult narrator, a doctor with whom the child eventually comes to live, is ambiguous; in consequence, the devastation and social breakdown here doesn’t seem at all remote in time or place. A gripping episode, though the plot comes to such an abrupt end that it reads like the opening chapter of a longer work. (Graphic fiction. 10-12)