Cover image for On the run
On the run
Coleman, Michael, 1946 May 12-
Uniform Title:
Going straight
First American edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Dutton Children's Books, 2004.

Physical Description:
199 pages ; 22 cm
When a persistent youth offender is caught yet again, he is sentenced to community service as the partner to a blind runner.
General Note:
Originally published under title: Going straight. London : Orchard Books, 2003.
Reading Level:
740 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 4.6 7.0 78843.

Reading Counts RC High School 5.3 12 Quiz: 36334 Guided reading level: NR.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult

On Order



Fifteen-year-old Luke is a skilled thief with a perfect record until the day he is caught running from a robbery gone wrong. He chooses to save the life of a blind girl, Jodi, rather than escape cleanly. As a result, Luke is given a shot at freedom if he will train to be Jodi's guide in the London Marathon. The friendship that develops between the two offers Luke one last chance to discover just how far-and in what direction-he is willing to run. A taut, unpredictable read, this novel will appeal to anyone who has changed course in life . . . or is trying to figure out how.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 8-12. Fifteen-year-old Luke Reid is an unrepentant juvenile delinquent, living in a squalid London housing project. While breaking into a car to steal an expensive pair of running shoes, he is interrupted by the project's toughest thugs, who steal the car itself. Meanwhile, the car's owners return, and the car thieves try to run down the owner's teenage daughter, Jodi. Luke pushes her to safety just in time, and that's just the beginning of this fast-moving story of teens trying to turn their lives around. Luke is arrested, but he is saved from incarceration by an unusual community service sentence: he must help Jodi train for a two-and-a-half-mile run, part of the annual London Marathon. The catch is that Jodi is blind. There are many twists and subplots, and if characterization and description are sometimes lacking, most readers will be caught up in Luke's various dilemmas. Briticisms abound, but most are entirely comprehensible in context. --Debbie Carton Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Luke Reid, the 15-year-old protagonist of British author Coleman's (Weirdo's War) problem novel, has been arrested for theft more times than he can remember. But his talent for picking locks goes horribly awry when he attempts to steal a pair of running shoes from a 4x4: two neighborhood thugs known to Luke, Lee Young and Mig Russell, cut in and steal the car. Then, as the car's owner arrives on the scene, his teenage daughter in tow, Lee and Mig mow him down with the vehicle and miss the daughter only because of Luke's intervention. Luke is caught and eventually brought before a juvenile court, where the car's owner's daughter, Jodi-who has been blind since infancy-asks the judge to have Luke perform community service by acting as her guide runner in an upcoming marathon. Jodi inspires Luke by her example, and his exposure to organized sports apparently helps undo a lifetime of unwholesome influences. All along Lee and Mig (who have gone unpunished) tell Luke not to "grass" (snitch) on them or they will hurt Jodi. But by this time readers will already know that Luke can go the moral distance, and the climax, while tense at times, seems chiefly designed to put him through his paces. Ages 12-up. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 7-9-Luke is a petty thief with a talent for picking locks. While breaking into a car, the 15-year-old is shoved aside by two schoolmates who steal it. In the melee, the owner's family returns and the daughter is nearly run down by the vehicle but Luke has the presence of mind to push her to safety. The thieves drive away, but Luke is chased and then tackled by the girl's father. The ensuing arrest lands him back in the juvenile justice system, which is more familiar to him than his own family, particularly his father, who is in prison for fraud and burglary. Honor among thieves prevents Luke from ratting on his schoolmates, but a sympathetic parole officer arranges an unusual community service project involving the girl he rescued. Luke learns that Jodi is blind and wants help training to run a mini-marathon. The unlikely partnership is awkward as Luke guides her along the track using voice commands, but her confidence and determination transform him, and give him a purpose that is no longer self-serving. Fans of British fiction will enjoy the urban dialect, and Jodi's triumph over her disability is inspirational, adding depth to the story. In a page-turning climax, Luke is blackmailed by the car thieves to help break into a garage on the day of the marathon and predictably outruns his demons for a somewhat sentimental but satisfying ending.-Vicki Reutter, Cazenovia High School, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.