Author(s): S. E. Durrant; Rob Biddulph (Illustrator)
A boy shoulders great responsibility for his differently abled parents in this touching middle-grade story.
CJ 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 CJ's house, because his parents could not. CJ'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, CJ 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.
By the author of Little Bits of Sky, this novel is a beautifully told story of unorthodox families, grief, adolescence and running.
S.E. Durrant has wanted to be a writer since she was a child and has always squeezed writing in around the edges of her life. She spent her childhood in Scotland before moving to Leicestershire when she was twelve. She studied Fine Art (painting) and then travelled widely before settling in south London. She has taken on many jobs including working on a stall at Covent Garden market, selling paintings in Venice and teaching art to children. For many years she worked on research bids at the University of London. She now lives in Brighton with her partner and two teenage children, all of whom are taller than she is.