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4.11  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,199 Ratings  ·  402 Reviews
"It's a cold, hard, cruel fact that my mother loved heroin more than she loved me."

Holly is in her fifth foster home in two years and she's had enough. She's run away before and always been caught quickly. But she's older and wiser now--she's twelve--and this time she gets away clean.

Through tough and tender and angry and funny journal entries, Holly spills out her story.
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published September 12th 2006 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Harold Ogle
Jan 28, 2012 Harold Ogle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, social-justice
Runaway is another book picked for me at random at the library by my daughter. More often than not, she comes up with good stuff. That's probably a testament as much to the librarians as it is to my daughter, but still...

Runaway is a sequel, of sorts, to another book that Van Draanen wrote (Sammy Keyes and the Sisters of Mercy), but in no way is it necessary to have read that first. In fact, I'd recommend against reading Sammy Keyes first, as knowing what happens in that book would be spoilers f
I really liked this book beacuse the reader was able to get into the mind of character. The author does this well by using 1st person narrative. I also like that the book was written in diary from because it made me fee closer to the character. I found it interestng how the chracter refered to herself as a sea gypse(sp?) instead of a homeless girl. In the book the character also says how much he hates doing certain things when she really likes them such as writing poetry. The character also seem ...more
Apr 18, 2012 Sara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Shane M
Nov 30, 2015 Shane M rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Imagine living your entire life without a house or someone to trust. That is how 12 year old Holly lives her life on the road.
The genre of Runaway is realistic fiction.
I liked this book a lot because it talks about an adventure & a amazing journey.

The setting of my book is wherever Holly decides to travel, like LA and Nevada. It takes place in the present. This is important because it makes the story less fictional because people can relate. All Holly really wanted was just a family and a
Joe B.
Joe Bricker
Reading/L.A. Book Review 8
28 January 2011
Follow The Yellow Brick Road
“It’s never too late- in fiction or in life- to revise.” This quote from Nancy Thayer describes this book. In Runaway, by Wendelin Van Draanen, Holley Janquel is a runaway. A minor who has left the care of an adult. In the beginning of this realistic fiction book, Holly receives a journal from her teacher, Ms. Leone, who instructs her to write down her feelings. Holly’s mother and father have d
Apr 22, 2009 MEREDITH :) rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Runaway By: Wenddelin Van Draanen.
This story is about a foster girl, she lives with her foster parents who make her sleep in the laundry room when shes a "bad girl"
After her foster dad shoves her head in the toilet and flushes several times, shes had enough.
She runaway.
Read this book to find out the type of horror and fear she faces.
All she wants is a good family and house to love and live in.
Is that too much to ask?
I guess it is when your mother died bc of heroin.
Read this book to find out if
Olivia Gonzales
Oct 19, 2014 Olivia Gonzales rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Olivia Gonzales
p.1 Waxman

Goodreads Review no. 2 - Runaway

Runaway by Wendelin Van Draanen is the powerful story of a young girl named Holly Janquell who has been deemed “unadoptable” and constantly runs away from her foster homes. When she faces some cruel events in one of them, she runs away to the western beaches, calling herself a “sea gypsy” as she dislikes the word homeless.
Throughout all of her experiences Holly keeps a journal that her teacher told her to write in at the beginning of th
Oct 29, 2015 Micaela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Holly runs away after being mistreated by her foster family. She doesn’t have a specific destination, just southwest. Holly is always on the run, so she can never stop to settle down anywhere. Holly keeps track of her entire experience through her journal; in it she is writes to her old teacher Mrs. Leone. This book made me think about how good I have it. In this book Holly had to steal and lie to survive. She also had to go a couple days without food. Holly had a very difficult journey, survivi ...more
Jan 12, 2016 Katalina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed reading “Runaway By Wendelin Van Draanen” because it allowed me to view what life is like for someone who is struggling on a daily basis. Although this book is fiction some of the events in the story seem as if they could be realistic.The book is written in journal entry format and is very detailed there is no boundary limits which makes this a good book. There is always something new happening it's like the drama never ends in this book. Runaway is about a young adolescent name ...more
Twelve year-old's Holly's life is horrific, to say the least. Her father died before she was born. Her mother was a drug addict who OD'd. Her current set of step parents routinely lock her in the basement and flush her head in the toilet. And she can deal with all of that, but when her stepfather refuses to stop touching her, she decides to runaway, this time for good. She travels across the country, stowing away in bus cargo holds and trains, sleeping in parks, libraries and shelters, hoping to ...more
Nov 02, 2010 Jessica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The main reason why i chose this book is becuase it is in a journaling formal i feel reading book in this kind of format are really really intresting. this book was amazing and really gave me a differnt view on homeless people becuase i never had mercey for them i just felt that there were all drunks and drug addicts and this book really changed my thinking for the good. the main character is a bitter teenager but theres a reason for that she has been in and out of abusive homes shes practicly b ...more
Elma Radoncic
Sep 30, 2013 Elma Radoncic rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was about how a young girl is being mistreated by her foster parents. She lives with a creepy old perverted freak, and a women who thinks that she is from a juvenile delinquency. She sleeps on a blanket on the floor, and she ha no pillow, no bed, and no freedom to do anything. Her foster parents treat like a stranger, not even strangers, because they don't even give her enough food to eat.And poor Holly is being accused of activities that she didn't do. Holly had enough, She is going ...more
Dec 21, 2008 ™yourbeautifulnightmaree™ rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Deffinentaly 10 or older
this is one of my ALL-TMIE favorite books.
this book is about a girl, and she is kinda of lost in the world, and has no say what-so-ever of where she is. She is in foster care, but her "care-takers" are not the best. They are mean, and brutl to her. She ends up running away from them , and meeting all sorts of people, and running into all sortds of trouble. This book taught me so much becuase, this young girl was living in a box, but she still had hope, and she didnt complain, sometmies she has t
Jul 23, 2015 SparklingRuby20 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved reading this book. I read it a while ago. Right now I am reading The Running Dream-by Wendelin Van Draanen. I was surprised to find out that this book is by the same author.
s e n t i m e n t a l i t i e s olittlebear
I hated this book. Really, really hated it. But that last entry was 5* and yes, you do need to get through it first.
Runaway (2012) by Wendelin Van Draanen. Genre: Middle School Realistic Fiction. The author, Van Draanen, tells the story of a twelve-year-old girl named Holly who abandons the foster care system and runs away in the hope of something better. Holly is a tough teenager who has experienced some tough hardships at such a young age (i.e. mother's drug overdose and abusive foster parents). Her life of homelessness forces this young girl to deal with issues that no one her age should have to deal with ...more
Dec 09, 2011 Yuseyz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: girls, poetry lovers, sammy keyes fans
Recommended to Yuseyz by: My BFF and sammt keyes fan
Runaway by Wendelin van Draanen, is about one of the supporting characters in Sammy Keyes. Holly. She is introduced in the third book, Sammy Keyes and the Sisters of Mercy. I really enjoyed her character and wanted to read more about her so i read Runaway. I loved her poetry. What really interested me was that the author stowed away and 'researched' while writing her book. Talk about first-hand experience!
Sep 27, 2015 Gina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Runaway by Wendelin Van Draanen is a realistic fiction that can bring you to tears or make you want to smash a window. Runaway is like a hidden gem amongst the library because it isn’t very well-known with just being on the Lone Star Book List 2007-08. It’s so real that you feel like you’re the one living through what’s happening.

“July 4th
I’ve decided this is all your fault, Ms. Leone. I’ve run away before, you know, but I never stowed away or jumped on trains or broke into buildings, I just ran
Nov 10, 2014 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My eighth grader read this book from the school library, and recommended it to me. I always enjoy reading books my girls enjoy, as it helps give me insight into their inner lives. I'd recently recommended a book to her, and she didn't like it -- hmmmm .... observations made, more learned :)

Anyway, "Runaway" to Wendelin Van Draanen is not a "light" book. It's about Holly, a homeless 12-year-old (yeah, I know. The beginning of this month was pretty pitiful-tween heavy with my reading!).

"It's a col
Jul 01, 2016 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed "Runaway" and found it difficult to put down. Twelve year old Holly was an engaging character with a wonderful voice. She was sassy and tough, yet at the same time heart-wrenchingly vulnerable and determined to survive. Many an occasion Holly made me smile, but at other times I felt so sorry for her as she constantly battled to find food, warmth and a way to keep clean. I liked the diary format of the book as Holly writes in the journal her English teacher gave her. She begi ...more
Feb 19, 2013 Mariana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: life, fiction
heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time
The story of how Holly escapes her foster home in pursue of herself and of her dreams, all her adventures filled with courage and raw feelings. She slowly learns how to trust again until she is able to meet a friend that will help her find the meaning of a true home and belonging
Cassie Felix
Oct 09, 2014 Cassie Felix rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
All-time favorite book from my childhood. I read this when I was in fourth grade and connected to Holly on a personal level so deep it was crazy. The very first book I purchased with my own money and definitely not a book I regret picking up. I can recite most of it from memory now, but I still reread it whenever I need to get out of a reading slump. It always helps. Holly's story is powerful, and her narration is brutal but honest and it is something I always loved about her character. Plus, th ...more
Nicole Debruyn
Oct 27, 2015 Nicole Debruyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fall-2015
I thought this book was really good, but it could have been better. It's really different than other books because it was a journal. She was a foster child because her mother died. She was treated really badly by her foster family. She also doesn’t like her teacher at school.

Her teacher assigned a project for the students and it was to write a journal. As you can probably tell from the title, she does runaway. The whole time you also need to remember that she is talking to her teacher the whol
I read this book back when I was in high-school and I'm so glad I found out who wrote it. I've been looking for it again, because of how this book touched me. I cried and I laughed (mostly cried though).

It's one of those books, for me anyway, that long after I've read it, I'll be sitting thinking about nothing really and suddenly vivid details and moments from this book come back to me and I'm back in this story all over again. And the entire time I'll be wishing I could help her, or I would ju
Kimmy O.
Nov 26, 2015 Kimmy O. rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Runaway by: Wendelin van draanen was not a very good book in my opinion. It's about a girl named holly that lives in a foster house and everyones very mean to her in that town that she decided to run away,and doing so becoming a gypsy. While running away she runs threw difficulties like eating out of a trash can,her not knowing where to get shelter and having no money but finally feels like she is finally freed for the pain.

I personally did not like this story because it was a really sad adventu
Barton Hills Sixth Grade
this book is awesome with sad parts but when you get further into the book it makes you think how smart she is its a really good book:ozzy

I absolutely LOVED this book. It was a book that could not have been better written without changing the plot. I have not met a single person that does not like this book. It’s about a girl whose mom died and she never saw her dad so she was given to several families to grow up but she is so bad they all gave her back. So now she lives with this really mean fa
Sophia Regan
Jan 02, 2013 Sophia Regan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was so good, I couldn't put it down! I would recommend it somebody who loves sad and depressing books, touching the topics. Of neglect and abuse
Feb 04, 2016 Catherine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
(I don't have the book with me, so I can't do page numbers. Sorry Ms. Sweet!)
This book made my heart ache, because deep down inside of me I know that there are kids out there going through this kind of thing. Kids who have to run away from abusive (birth and foster) parents. Kids whose parents were drug addicts. Kids who are homeless.
The girl in this book, Holly, goes through all three of those things and more. She reams of being a gypsy, and runs away to California, where she rides a rough and
Mar 05, 2016 Stephanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
I picked this up because the blurb intrigued me and decided to read it before passing it along to my niece. I felt like it almost straddled the line between middle grade and YA. Holly ' s voice is distinct, witty, snarky, and charming. She's an easy character to empathize with and her journal pulls you in and keeps you wanting to turn pages. I think this gives some good accessible insight into situations many kids don't think about... losing parents, foster care, being the new kids in class, bul ...more
Mar 02, 2016 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very interesting book that I did not want to put down. The adventure takes Holly from her 5th and last foster home to the streets. She was the child of a drug addict who died and was then thrust on the foster system in terrible conditions in abusive homes. In the last home the only kind person was a teacher who gave her a journal, which she did not appreciate until she was on the road. Her journal is how we learn of her daily story through terrible conditions. She is a heroic characte ...more
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Van Draanen was born in Chicago, Illinois. One of her early influences was Dandelion Wine . According to the author, the book was "about the magic of growing up and [it] reminded me of all the wonderful mischief my brothers and I got into when we were young." Bradbury's work inspired Van Draanen to write How I Survived Being a Girl, which was published by HarperCollins in 1997. Other early influe ...more
More about Wendelin Van Draanen...

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“Sometimes I get so caught up in my own problems that I forget how amazing the world is.” 139 likes
“I miss school.
What’s wrong with me?”
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