________________ CM . . . . Volume XII Number 2 . . . . September 16, 2005


The Fugitive Factor. (On the Run #2).

Gordon Korman.
New York, NY: Scholastic (Distributed in Canada by Scholastic Canada), 2005.
148 pp., pbk., $6.99.
ISBN 0-439-65137-9.

Grades 4-7 / Ages 9-12.

Review by Rita Rebizant.

***½ /4


And the he was there, the figure who had made her freeze - a second cop starting up from the ground floor. Miraculously, he caught her and held on, the officer and his fleeing felon. Rescue and capture in a single instant.

Aiden hesitated.

His sister did not. "Go!"

Anyone else would have been too shaken to think. But not Meg Falconer. "It's all on you now!"

A hand from behind clamped hard onto Aiden's shoulder.He twisted free, scrambling over the banister and dropping to the lobby floor. He was outside in a flash, pounding down the sidewalk, relieved to see there was no more police presence.

The last thing he heard before the heavy door swung shut was his sister's firm voice: "If you come back for me, I'll break every bone in your body!"

"Spunky" is definitely an apt description of 11-year-old Meg Falconer. Smart, determined and single minded, she is the anchor and drive for her older brother, Aiden. Together, they are on the run from the Juvenile Detention Centre, the FBI and a big, bald man they've dubbed "Hairless Joe." Through ATV wipeouts, hospital breakouts, ambulance chases, cat burglars, and laundry chutes, Aiden and Meg find adventures at every turn on their quest.

     Their parents, Drs. John and Louise Falconer, have been wrongly convicted of harboring terrorists in the United States and given life sentences in federal penitentiaries. As a result, the two Falconer children find themselves having to escape Juvenile Detention, where they have been placed in "protective custody," in order to track down a lead that may prove their parents' innocence. Having gone across the country in hopes of finding "Aunt Jane," they discover that this one old family friend can't help them. And then she betrays them.

     This non-stop action, page-turning thriller is the second installment of "On the Run." The language and content are definitely suited for the intended audience, and the cover gives the impression of a Robert Ludlum espionage suspense novel. Because this book reads fairly quickly, young readers will eagerly await the third installment, Now You See Them, Now You Don't.

Highly Recommended.

Rita Rebizant is an Educational Assistant in Hanover School Division and a teacher candidate in the B.Ed. program at the University of Manitoba.


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