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The Runaway Friend: A Kirsten Mystery (American Girl Mysteries)
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The Runaway Friend: A Kirsten Mystery

(American Girl Mysteries)

by
3.88  ·  Rating details ·  420 ratings  ·  29 reviews
Kirsten Larson has been living on the Minnesota frontier for only a few weeks when her neighbor and friend, Erik Sandahl, disappears. Erik had promised to help the Larsons at harvest time--and he owes Uncle Olav money. Has Erik run out on his promises? Everyone seems to think so--except Kirsten. Can she figure out what's happened to her friend?

Takes place in 1854.
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Paperback, 179 pages
Published March 1st 2008 by American Girl Publishing Inc (first published 2008)
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Average rating 3.88  · 
Rating details
 ·  420 ratings  ·  29 reviews


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Start your review of The Runaway Friend: A Kirsten Mystery (American Girl Mysteries)
Sky
May 31, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Mystery lovers, American Girl fans
Shelves: 2008
There are only a few good mysteries in the world, and I think that this one qualifies under that category. It was a little below my reading level, but that wasn't a big deal. I thought it was really intriguing; I never guessed what was going to happen, well... except when I read ahead! ;) Anyway, I liked this book, and it was very well-written. ...more
Sesana
More like 2.5 stars. I'm not surprised that I didn't like this one as well as some of the others. Kirsten was never a favorite.

Re-read: Unsurprisingly, I liked this a lot more having read it right after re-reading the Central Series. For the record, this is set almost immediately after the end of Meet Kirsten and well before Kirsten Learns a Lesson. That alone was a bit of a surprise. I haven't re-read all of the mysteries, but Nanea's, Melody's, Maryellen's, Felicity's, and Josefina's are all s
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Stasia
Jan 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I feel that Kirsten really got the snub as an American Girl character. I have to wonder now if that's due to her pioneer heritage, and that people now find this offensive!! As a young girl though, that thought never crossed my mind. I just always wished there had been more Kirsten add on books!!

It's been years since I last read this installment, and it's great how it really fills in what happens between Kirsten's original first book and second book. This is also very impressive in how it deals
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Ciara
Dec 31, 2011 rated it liked it
jeez louise. this book seemed needlessly complex to me. especially for a kiddo. let's go to the recap:

it's unclear to me when exactly this book takes place because i haven't read kirsten's introductory series in a long time. kirsten doesn't speak, understand, or read english at this point, so it must be before her school story? i'm not sure.

kirsten & her family are living with mr. larson's brother & his family. they have a lot of other swedish immigrant neighbors, & everyone socializes & they he
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Jessa
Feb 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
This was a good one! The debt premise that kicks off early was pretty stressful but I do like how balanced a character Kirsten is, and how the books do a good job of character building for her and world building for what's going on around her ...more
Liz Kendall
Feb 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed the focus on women pioneers and the isolation, mental health struggles, and challenges that come along with it. Short and sweet otherwise, like the other mysteries in the American Girl series.
Monica
An engaging mystery with a clear historical setting.
Wintermote
Jan 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed but really wondering about the historical accuracy of all the neighbors so close together on the frontier...
Megan
An awesome mystery, set probably in between book 1 and 2 of Kirsten. I really enjoyed it, and I actually liked it better than the series, even though the series was great too.
Cecilia
Aug 15, 2017 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Cecilia by: No one
Not very interesting. I wouldn't recommend it to anybody I know. I kinda felt like I kept falling asleep. ...more
Sara
Feb 17, 2019 added it
A solid installment in the American Girl mystery series. Kept me in suspense and I enjoyed learning more about Swedish American life on the Minnesota frontier.
AliceElizabeth 101
In conclusion boys are cruel.
Desiree
Jun 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A good solid plot.
Kayla Smith
Oct 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
I liked it a lot. I really liked how Kirsten stood up for Erik, even when nobody else did.
Jenna
Oct 07, 2020 rated it liked it
A good mystery story with a happy ending.
Jessica
Sep 19, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommended to Jessica by: goodreads
See the first book in the series for a full review.
Ashley
Jun 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Kirsten has been living on the Minnesota Frontier for only a few weeks when her neighbor and friend, Erik Sandahl, disappears. Erik had promised to help the Larsons at harvest time, and he owes Uncle Olav money. Has he run out on his promises? Everyone seems to think so - except Kirsten. Can she figure out what's happened to her friend?

About The Author: Kathleen Ernst is a writer and a historian. She spent twelve years working at a living-history museum called Old World Wisconsin, where she expe
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Laurie
Oct 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Historical mystery genre with Swedish immigrants
Marya
Jun 04, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: children-series
While the main books in the series and the subsequent short stories are addressed for girls in the 8-10 range, this followup books is for a noticeably older age group. Perhaps the nature of a mystery stories (which must create an atmosphere of intense suspense), and the pioneer books (which must find a multitude of ways to threaten the characters with death from the elements) is what gives this book such a sinister spin. The Very Special Issues included in this book include domestic violence, cl ...more
Elizabeth N. | ThePennilessBooknerd
Kirsten's Friend Erik goes missing and she tries to gather clue to find him.

This book was okay I guess. I didn't really like it. I liked it at the beginning, but as it started getting towards the end it didn't really make sense.
This did keep me guessing and trying to figure out what had happened to him, but as the "clues" started unraveling the story it didn't really help. Then Kirsten makes a guess "oh, I bet he *** * ****** and he went to **** ***" (not real quote and I replaced the actual wo
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Amy
Jan 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This was good.

Likes:
1) It takes place shortly after Kirsten arrives in America, and shows the struggles immigrants faced.
2) The mystery wasn't exactly obvious, and a few red herrings were thrown in.
3) I assumed the 'friend' would be a young friend of Kirsten's. Spoiler: It's a family friend. This makes the story more plausible.

Dislikes:
1) It takes place so soon after the Larson's arrive in America, it's awkward knowing everything they would truly be saying would be in Swedish.

Overall I'm happ
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Meg
Jan 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
This book is good for girls who have american girl dolls!
Sydney
Jun 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I really like this book. You can see that the authe put a lot of effort in to the book
Amanda Kay
Jul 06, 2012 rated it liked it
Although its nice to see more development for Kirsten, its hard to fit this into her storyline. Ernst doesn't seem to quite get Kirsten. An alright little mystery. ...more
Katharine Ott
Apr 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade
"The Runaway Friend" - written by Kathleen Ernst and published in 2008 by American Girl Publishing. An engaging American Girl story featuring immigrants to Minnesota. ...more
Susan
May 08, 2010 added it
slow, but good
Kristen Luppino
Jul 13, 2016 rated it liked it
A fun little Kirsten story!
Sue
rated it really liked it
Sep 01, 2015
Rebecca
rated it liked it
Mar 23, 2021
Emory Frie
rated it it was amazing
May 09, 2019
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290 followers
I grew up in Maryland, in a house full of books! Both of my parents were avid readers, thank goodness. Before we traveled to a new area, my librarian-mom used to bring home historical novels set in that place. It was a great way to get excited about history.

I began writing stories when I was maybe 10 or 11. At 15 I wrote my first novel; I sold my first novel to a publisher 20 years later! Writing
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American Girl Mysteries (1 - 10 of 44 books)
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  • Peril at King's Creek: A Felicity Mystery (American Girl Mysteries)
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  • Lady Margaret's Ghost: A Felicity Mystery (American Girl Mysteries (Quality))
  • Traitor in the Shipyard: A Caroline Mystery
  • The Traveler's Tricks: A Caroline Mystery (American Girl Mysteries)
  • The Smuggler's Secrets: A Caroline Mystery
  • Secrets in the Hills: A Josefina Mystery (American Girl Mysteries)
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