Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
November 17, 2015
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When a twelve-year-old boy's parents discover millions of dollars deposited into their bank account, they take him and his sister on the lam in this fast-paced middle-grade adventure.
Ben has always wanted to be a cop, so he's intrigued when police officers show up at the door, asking for his parents. Then his parents arrive after the police leave and rush him and his sister into the car, insisting they are going on a vacation. Ben's a little skeptical—his family doesn't go on vacations. After they lose the police in a high-speed car chase and end up in a remote cabin deep in the woods, Ben discovers his parents' secret: millions of dollars were deposited into their bank account by accident, and they took the money and ran off. Ben isn't sure what to think. Are his parents criminals? And because he ran off with them, is he a criminal, too?
"Nature wasn't Ben's favorite thing -- freaky animals, insects, dirt. He preferred being in his room playing games, watching TV, eating. This had never been a problem because the Silvers had not left the suburbs in the twelve years since Ben was born." (pg 12)
Only, now it is a problem for Ben. With his parents claiming they're on 'vacation,' his seems to be hiding out in the middle of nowhere. If the noises and animal sounds weren't enough to keep Ben awake at night the question of what his parents did certainly is.
He knows something is not right - starting that they haven't ever done a vacation and he is pretty sure this isn't how they go, anyway and continuing to that bag of money his father tried to hide.
I liked Ben's character from the beginning. He felt familiar, though I still can't think of anyone he reminds me of. He loves making stop-motion movies, wants to be a cop when he's older and might be a little bit overweight. How these things play into how he sees and thinks about things was very enjoyable.
There were times that he felt younger than his age, mostly when it came to some of his expectations and what he believed about or from his parents. As the story progressed, however, I did feel that he fit his age better.
I thought his questioning of what was right and wrong; Were his parents criminals? Had they done wrong? Was he now a criminal too? Even if he didn't always like them, his father especially, was it right to go against them? To turn them in? It added to - and created some of - the adventure, dnager and mystery of One the Run.
One the Run is a thrilling adventure read that is willing to put its characters in danger, to force them to make tough decisions. It also, though, has quite a bit of self discovery, questions on loyalty and doing what's right.
I loved Ben's journey, from the beginning, safe in his room making his movie, through the adventure and danger of their 'vacation,' all the way through to the ending. Olive, Ben's younger sister, is a great secondary character. Her character and her quirks added humor, sometimes tension and definitely something extra to consider to the story; she was my favorite.
digital review copy received, thanks to publisher, via NetGalley