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Book cover of Runner


by Carl Deuker

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN: 9780618542987

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Synopsis of Runner

But the weather-beaten sailboat Chance Taylor and his father call home is thirty years old and hasn’t sailed in years. One step from both homelessness and hunger, Chance worries about things other kids his age never give a thought: Where will the money come for the electricity bill, grocery bill, and moorage fees? So when a new job falls his way, he jumps at the opportunity. He knows how much he will earn; what he doesn’t know is how much he will pay.

Paula Rohrlick - KLIATT

Chance lives on a sailboat in Seattle's harbor, but it isn't exactly a "floating mansion." It's as beaten-up and beaten-down as his alcoholic father, who can't seem to hold a job. Chance's mother left long ago, and he worries each month about whether his father will manage to pay the bills. So when a man from the marina approaches Chance and offers him money to pick up and deliver mysterious packages on his daily run, Chance doesn't ask many questions, though he's pretty sure drugs are involved. At school, he's a "ghost-walker," just waiting to graduate and enlist in the army to get away, but a new friend named Melissa gets through to him. Her curiosity about his runs, however, nearly gets her in danger, and when Chance discovers that it's not just drugs he's helping to smuggle matters come to a head, with tragic consequences. Deuker, the author of Night Hoops and other YA novels, crafts a suspenseful and involving story that tackles timely issues of terrorism, patriotism, poverty, and privilege. Chance's dilemmas will quickly draw in readers and keep them turning the pages. KLIATT Codes: JS—Recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2005, Houghton Mifflin, 224p., Ages 12 to 18.

About the Author, Carl Deuker

Carl Deuker participated in several sports as a boy. He was good enough to make most teams, but not quite good enough to play much. He describes himself as a classic second-stringer. "I was too slow and too short for basketball; I was too small for football, a little too chicken to hang in there against the best fastballs. So, by my senior year the only sport I was still playing was golf." Carl still loves playing golf early on Sunday mornings at Jefferson Park in Seattle, the course on which Fred Couples learned to play. His handicap at present is 13. Combining his enthusiasm for both writing and athletics, Carl has created many exciting, award-winning novels for young adults. He currently lives in Seattle, Washington, with his wife and daughter.

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