The Runaways
The Runaways
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Annotation: Grandpa wants to go back to his home island, but he's stuck in the hospital. So Gottfried Junior, his namesake, helps Grandpa make a plan to run away, and theirdeception is so complete, that when Gottfried Junior finally decides to tell thetruth, no one believes him.
Catalog Number: #176521
Format: Library Binding
No other formats available
Publisher: Gecko Press
Copyright Date: 2019
Edition Date: 2019
Illustrator: Crowther, Kitty,
Pages: 129 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-7765-7233-5
ISBN 13: 978-1-7765-7233-5
Dewey: Fic
Dimensions: 22 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
Horn Book
This Swedish import is an unvarnished portrait of old age. In the hospital with a broken leg and a failing heart, Grandpa is furious and foul-mouthed. His only ally is his affectionate and admiring grandson, who helps carry out an elaborate secret breakout. Every emotional effect is fully earned, and the final beat is deeply affecting. Full-page colored-pencil illustrations match the text in being simultaneously homely and honest.
Kirkus Reviews
A boy helps his ailing grandfather go home one last time in this Swedish import.Gottfried finds life enlivened by his feisty grandfather, who's always been "difficult." They are true kindred spirits. Confined now to the hospital with a broken leg and weak heart, Grandpa's "worse than ever." Gottfried's dad avoids hospital visits because Grandpa's naughty behavior and declining condition make him "tired and sad." He rejects Gottfried's plea to bring Grandpa to live with them, insisting he's "too sick and angry and stubborn and crazy." Pretending to be at football training, Gottfried visits Grandpa in the hospital and suggests they should run away. Lying to his parents about where he's going overnight, Gottfried surreptitiously transports Grandpa to the island house where he lived with Grandma until she died. Back home for one night, Grandpa happily reverts to his old clothes, savors Grandma's last jar of lingonberry jam, and says farewell to his old life before returning to the hospital. Gottfried's accessible, unadorned, heartfelt first-person narration reveals the depth of his bond with his grandfather as well as his insightful understanding of his father's limitations. Linear, colored-pencil drawings capture key interactions between characters and revel in Grandpa's choler. Characters are white (or, in Grandpa's case, grouchily pink).A touching, realistic, gently humorous story of how a sensitive boy copes with his treasured grandfather's decline. (Fiction. 8-11)
Publishers Weekly
After Gottfried Junior-s beloved, cantankerous grandfather, a former ship-s engineer, suffers a bad fall, he lands in the hospital. Miserable, he asks his kindred-spirit grandson to help him briefly flee to his house in the Stockholm archipelago, where he has -one or two things to attend to.- With remarkable attention (-you have to think of everything-), the boy sees to all the details-manufacturing an overnight football club trip, garnering meatballs from his mother, and hiring a butcher-s assistant to convey them. The plans go off without a hitch, though it takes Grandfather two hours to walk up the hill to the front door, and he largely refuses to share the final jar of his late wife-s lingonberry jam (-part of her is still in it-). Autumn-hued illustrations by Crowther (Stories of the Night) juxtapose the dull hospital against glorious piney islands and a light-filled sea. Stark straightforwardly conveys family tensions, end-of-life concerns, and intergenerational adoration alongside an archipelago-s worth of vivid details-the removal of paraffin wax from the jam jar, the -wonderful smell of oil- from the ferry-s engine room, potatoes steaming in their pot. Most children-s books about breakouts involve a child abandoning a place; this one follows a man at the end of his life to the home he holds dear. Ages 6-11. (Apr.)
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
A boy helps his ailing grandfather go home one last time in this Swedish import.Gottfried finds life enlivened by his feisty grandfather, who's always been "difficult." They are true kindred spirits. Confined now to the hospital with a broken leg and weak heart, Grandpa's "worse than ever." Gottfried's dad avoids hospital visits because Grandpa's naughty behavior and declining condition make him "tired and sad." He rejects Gottfried's plea to bring Grandpa to live with them, insisting he's "too sick and angry and stubborn and crazy." Pretending to be at football training, Gottfried visits Grandpa in the hospital and suggests they should run away. Lying to his parents about where he's going overnight, Gottfried surreptitiously transports Grandpa to the island house where he lived with Grandma until she died. Back home for one night, Grandpa happily reverts to his old clothes, savors Grandma's last jar of lingonberry jam, and says farewell to his old life before returning to the hospital. Gottfried's accessible, unadorned, heartfelt first-person narration reveals the depth of his bond with his grandfather as well as his insightful understanding of his father's limitations. Linear, colored-pencil drawings capture key interactions between characters and revel in Grandpa's choler. Characters are white (or, in Grandpa's case, grouchily pink).A touching, realistic, gently humorous story of how a sensitive boy copes with his treasured grandfather's decline. (Fiction. 8-11)
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* Gottfried Junior loves visiting Grandpa in the hospital, where the patient routinely swears, spits out his pills, and yells at the staff. Soon they hatch a plan: they'll escape for an overnight in the isolated island home where Grandpa lived with Grandma before she died. The boy convinces his parents that he must attend an overnight football training camp. Actually, he springs Grandpa from the hospital. Back in his familiar home, Grandpa reconnects with his old life, feels his profound grief, and changes his outlook a bit. After returning his grandfather to the hospital, the boy intends to keep quiet about their caper. Instead, he suddenly confesses the whole escapade to his father who, ironically, scolds him for lying. A Swedish author whose picture books include When Dad Showed Me the Universe (2015) and The Yule Tomte and the Little Rabbits (2014), Stark writes Gottfried Junior's first-person narrative with clarity, honesty, and wit. This chapter book is blunt yet light-handed in acknowledging anger, sorrow, death, and the mystery of the afterlife. Deftly drawn and sometimes amusing, the character portrayals are utterly convincing. Expressive full-page illustrations add color to the pages while supporting the story's tone. An unusual adventure story with a core of mutual grandfather-grandson affection.
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Starred Review ALA Booklist (4/1/19)
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
Starred Review for Publishers Weekly
Horn Book (8/1/19)
Word Count: 14,579
Reading Level: 3.6
Interest Level: 1-4
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.6 / points: 2.0 / quiz: 501144 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:2.6 / points:5.0 / quiz:Q76800
Lexile: 480L

The Runaways is an inter-generational adventure filled with warmth and humor from one of the world's great writers for children. Grandpa hates being in hospital. He thinks only of the place he was happiest--the island where he used to live. He wants to go back, but they won't let him out of the hospital. So Gottfried Junior, his namesake, helps Grandpa make a plan to run away. They think of everything. Their deception is so complete that when Gottfried Junior finally decides to tell the truth, no one believes him.


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