Stories Aloud
Publication date: 01 Mar 2018
ISBN: 9780857637406
Size: 198 x 129 mm
Length: 240 pages

Running On Empty

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AJ’s grandfather has always been the one to keep his unusual family together, so when he dies things start to unravel at the edges. AJ is worried about his parents but they don’t really seem to notice. In order to deal with his grief and to keep his anxiety at bay, AJ does what he and his grandfather did best: running. Round and round the Olympic Park, aiming for the cross country trials. Running to escape, AJ only seems to be heading ever closer to disaster.

Running On Empty is a beautiful book about false starts and emotional journeys, with hope as the ultimate finishing line.

From the author of Little Bits of Sky and Talking to the Moon

Cover illustration by Rob Biddulph.

Winner of the Student Vote, UKLA Book Award 2019

Highly Commended, UKLA Teachers Book Award 2019

Nominated for the 2019 CILIP Carnegie Medal

Shortlisted for the 2018 North Somerset Teachers’ Book Awards</p<p>Shortlisted for the Little Rebels Award 2019

Shortlisted for the Warwickshire Book Award 2019

Shortlisted for the Tower Hamlets Book Award 2019

Lyrical, moving and realistic, SE Durrant’s Running on Empty is about the struggle of an 11-year-old carer who is starting secondary school and wants to run like Usain Bolt. With a rich and diverse cast, it sings." – Sunday Times

"Running on Empty is one of the best children’s novels of the year." – Express

"Beautiful writing about family, loss, dreams and small pleasures that packs a real emotional punch." – The Bookseller

"I absolutely love this book!…it’s a light-hearted, tender book, as warm and funny as AJ himself." – Official Jacqueline Wilson Magazine

"Running on Empty is a deeply moving story of one young carer’s struggle to keep his family together… It is beautifully written and thought provoking. A really special book." – North Somerset Teachers’ Book Award

"AJ’s situation is described with powerful realism, and yet with the very lightest of touches. He is essentially a young carer, whose parents have learning difficulties, but there is never a sniff of a stereotype or call for pity. Durrant makes important points about avoiding assumptions with huge subtlety, sensitivity and humour. Convincing, uplifting and immensely readable." – BookTrust

Stories Aloud

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“Lyrical, moving and realistic, SE Durrant’s Running on Empty is about the struggle of an 11-year-old carer who is starting secondary school and wants to run like Usain Bolt. With a rich and diverse cast, it sings.”

“Running On Empty is one of the best children’s novels of the year.”

“Convincing, uplifting and immensely readable.”

BookTrust

“A light-hearted, tender book, as warm and funny as AJ himself.”

The Official Jacqueline Wilson Magazine

“It’s double times better than lots of other books I’ve read.”

– Olivia, for The Official Jacqueline Wilson Magazine

“Running on Empty is one of my favourite books now! It has a truly inspirational message – you should always follow your dreams.”

– Lauren, for The Official Jacqueline Wilson Magazine

“Running on Empty, an emotional story of family (and trainers!), will have you hooked until the end. Overall, it’s a booktastic story which is fun, gripping and I would recommend it to anyone who loves reading.”

– Lia, for The Official Jacqueline Wilson Magazine

“A story that should make us sit up and take note of what happens in our society. A tough topic, sensitively handled; a determined boy who doesn’t give up; heartfelt and touching and very definitely worth reading.”

Parents in Touch

“A remarkable, revealing and realistic read that was every bit as brilliant as I hoped… this one will run and run.”

The Reader Teacher, blog

“It is remarkable- moving, real, touching, funny and long lasting. Running On Empty is one of the best books I have read this new year.”

BookWagon

“A beautifully written and moving book.”

The Scotsman

“Incredibly emotional and powerful storytelling… a truly compelling read.”

Research Rich Pedagogies

“It’s likely to resonate with a wide variety of readers”

Armadillo

“AJ is imperfect, kindhearted, loving, earnest, and entirely delightful.”

– Kirkus Reviews

“A story full of love- and about the importance of following your dreams. It is beautifully written and thought provoking. A really special book.”

– North Somerset Teachers’ Book Award

“Wonderfully written.”

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