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Cover for Running on Empty

Running on Empty

S. E. Durrant


List Price: 17.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.


A boy shoulders great responsibility for his differently abled parents in this touching middle-grade story.

AJ is a runner--and when he's running, he's fast, free, and flying. It was Grandad who taught him to run, and who did a lot more, besides. Grandad always made sure things were in order around AJ's house, because his parents could not. AJ's parents are different, and because they do not have the tools to cope with certain elements of everyday life, it was Grandad who reviewed the water bill, saw to it that the electricity meter had funds, and kept everything else shipshape.

But now, with Grandad's sudden passing and Aunt Joan about to have a baby, AJ knows it's up to him to make sure Mum and Dad are okay and to keep the household going. It would be a hard job for any adult, but for a kid who's also starting middle-school and trying to impress the gruff track coach . . . is staying afloat even possible?

Through its heartwarming and believable characters, Running on Empty sensitively explores the dynamics of a loving family finding its way forward, and the unexpected helping hands that pitch in along the way.

A Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year

Praise For Running on Empty

"This story's texture of sorrow and anxiety, humor and family affection, develops gradually in Durrant's alertness to small, important moments in everyday life . . . A story of grieving and growing, this richly conceived, sensitive novel is written with a quick, light touch."—The Horn Book

"AJ, 11, is a worrier and a dreamer, and he carries the weight of the world on his shoulders. . . . AJ is imperfect, kindhearted, loving, earnest, and entirely delightful."Kirkus Reviews

Holiday House, 9780823438402, 200pp.

Publication Date: September 18, 2018

About the Author

S. E. DURRANT was raised in Scotland and now lives in East Sussex with her family. Her first book, Little Bits of Sky, was called "remarkable" by The Sunday Times.