Fourteen-year-old Jonathan lives with his alcoholic mother and eight-year-old sister Julie in Ireland. Life is tough-there is never enough to eat and Jonathan’s mother’s behavior is unpredictable, but things are bearable until Jonathan’s grandmother dies. Now, the only adult they can count on is gone.
Things need to change when Julie’s mom hits her and Jonathan can’t call the police because he knows they both will be taken away from home. Julie also can’t go to school because it is very obvious that someone hit her and social services will have to be called.
Jonathan thinks his only recourse is to run away and take Julie with him. His plan is to bring Julie to their long-lost father and hope Julie can stay with him. Things get complicated when their mother is found dead and the police are looking for Jonathan and Julie. Did Jonathan push his mother and did that lead to her death? Did he know his mother was dead before he ran away?
This is both an adventure and a very emotional story. As a reader, I couldn’t help but be pulled in and worry about Jonathan and Julie. This is a very short book with short chapters and I wouldn’t hesitant to recommend it to readers in seventh grade and up.