Thursday, February 18, 2010

Running Man (YA)


Running Man. Michael Gerard Bauer. 2008. HarperCollins. 304 pages.

Joseph fixed his eyes on the coffin and thought of silkworms.

Joseph is fourteen and afraid of The Running Man, a strange local man who has haunted his dreams for years now. Fear is funny like that. Sometimes you fear the wrong things. Not that The Running Man isn't strange. He is. But in all his years, Joseph has never thought about why the Running Man runs. He's never put himself in the Running Man's shoes, so to speak. But as another strange relationship develops, Joseph is learning more about himself and more about the world around him, the people around him.

It all starts with an art project. Joseph has to draw someone, anyone. And his neighbor, Caroline, hopes that he will choose her brother, Tom, to be his subject. Tom is a Vietnam veteran, a recluse these days. Joseph has heard a few strange things about Tom, though he's never seen him, so he's never given him much thought. "Over time, Tom Leyton became for Joseph an accepted unknown, like the dark interior of a house passed by every day but not entered." (7) Still, when she first approaches Joseph with the idea, well, he's not open to it. But that changes. It becomes almost a dare to him to choose Tom Leyton.

What can Joseph learn from Tom? What can Tom learn from Joseph?

This is a compelling coming-of-age story. It definitely reminded me of To Kill A Mockingbird.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

6 comments:

Molly 9:48 AM  

WOW -- any book that is reminiscent of To Kill a Mockingbird is a must read in my mind.

Anonymous,  1:59 PM  

It's funny... I was actually thinking of "To Kill a Mockingbird" and then I came to your line comparing this book to it - I have no idea what exactly it was, it was something intangible... L.

CarlyB 2:52 PM  

Ooh this one sounds very interesting. Thanks for the review!x

Sharon 9:35 PM  

I like how you have included (YA) or (MG) on your post titles. It's so helpful!

The Book Chook 11:51 PM  

I haven't read this but now would like to. However, i have read Bauer's Don't Call Me Ishmael, which is probably one of my favourite books of all time. (There are a few!) It is brilliant, very funny and manages to be poignant at the same time.

Anna & Serena 7:38 AM  

sounds like another good one...we've posted your review link on the review page and your snippet will post on 12.14.10

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I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

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4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
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