Caren's Reviews > Running on the Cracks

Running on the Cracks by Julia Donaldson
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's review
Jul 01, 2011

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Read in June, 2011

I really like the picture books of Julia Donaldson, so I thought I'd like to try her YA novel. I was not disappointed. Leo (short for Leonora) has been sent to live with her mother's sister in Bristol (England) after her parents (who both played in an orchestra) have been killed in an accident. Her two cousins resent her and her uncle is very creepy. She knows she has some grandparents whom she has never met (due to a family feud)in Glasgow, so one morning, rather than going to school, she instead boards a train for Glasgow and thus her adventures begin. Her father was Chinese and she must search for his parents based on her slender thread of knowledge that they owned a Chinese restaurant in Glasgow and that their name was Chan. When she arrives in Glasgow, with very little money, and finds that there are lots of Chans in the phone book and lots of Chinese restaurants, her prospects for success seem dim. Fortunately, she is befriended by a motley cast of characters. Unfortunately, she has been pursued by her creepy, predatory uncle. The fast-paced plot moves right along, with Leo and gang managing to stay one step ahead of her uncle. This was an engaging read with a satisfying ending.
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