Illustrated by:


Orca Book Publishers

Pub Date: 

$ 7.95

My Books


Ages 7 - 11

89 pages, 10 chapters

The Story

I’d never seen such a skinny boy. When he swung the axe, his shoulder blades stuck out under his shirt. His feet were bare and his pants ended in a ragged line just below his knees. The boy split two more pieces of wood. Then he dropped the axe and leaned over, gulping in air, his hands on his knees.

When Max sees their new neighbour Sam Black, hit Lucas, a boy living in his care, he is horrified. He has heard terrible stories about Sam Black who seems to be living up to his reputation. However, the time is the 1830’s and Papa explains to Max that he “can’t tell a man how to raise his boy.” Max meets up with Lucas again, this time at the general store at  The Landings where the hungry Lucas steals a potato. When Lucas runs away and takes refuge in Max’s secret fort in the woods, Max must decide where his loyalties lie.

*Recommended selection in Canadian Children’s Book   Center “Our Choice 2004”

*Featured in Canadian Children’s Book News Winter   2004, Canadian Children’s Book Center

What people are saying about Runaway
The author writes a compelling story of growing up in pioneer times, and describes the very real struggles of this time period. . . The main character has some very admirable traits and deals with tough issues in a way that we would like our children to emulate. . . Runaway could easily be integrated into a social studies unit on child abuse.
Resource Links Volume 9 Number 3
Becky Citra does justice to the place and time with this look at the ugliness of abuse.
Brandon Sun December 13. 2003
Teacher’s Guide available from
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