151 pages
ISBN 1-55028-674-9
DDC jC813'.54





Brenda Baltensperger is a playwright, a director of children’s
theatre, an editor of children’s fiction, and the author of Fractured


It was bad enough when Kyle and Meghan’s parents divorced, but even
more difficult to cope with was the move from Ontario to Alberta,
leaving friends behind. After an argument between 14-year-old Meghan and
her mother, the girl disappears. Although the police have been
contacted, 17-year-old Kyle is determined to find his sister himself. He
begins nightly sorties, searching the unfamiliar Calgary streets. A
group of girls emerge from a café and Kyle spots Meghan’s jacket. The
girl he confronts isn’t his sister, but in the resulting scuffle
Meghan’s diary falls from the jacket pocket. Upon reading the diary,
Kyle learns that his sister has met a boy named Stephen and moved in
with him. Kyle talks to street kids— in particular, Janice, who had
been in school with Meghan but dropped out and returned to her former
life on the street. Janice invites Kyle to see how the street kids live
and survive. Soon she admits that she did try to help Meghan leave the
city to escape the clutches of an infamous pimp known as Age. Finally,
Meghan does contact Kyle but refuses to return home because she fears
she will be putting her family in jeopardy.

Runner realistically portrays life on the streets and dispels any myth
teenagers might have about “living free.” The quality of writing is
excellent, and this book should be in every junior- and senior-high
school library. Highly recommended.


McPhee, Peter, “Runner,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 28, 2024,