Running on the Cracks
Julia Donaldson's first novel for young adults is a tense thriller about a runaway. Donaldson addresses numerous issues in her gripping text, including abuse, mental health, family relationships and responsibilities, mixed-race families and, above all, loyalty.
When Leo's parents are killed in a plane crash, she goes to live with her mother's English relatives. Abused by her uncle, she flees to find her Scottish-Chinese grandparents, although she knows that they had been estranged from her family.
In her search she faces great danger, but finds support from unlikely sources and ultimately finds both her family and her future. Donaldson's style engages immediately and through her characters she raises many questions about our attitudes to those perceived as "different".