Runner by Carl Deuker Reviewed, by Tomi Nelson

From the back of the novel Runner:


 One step away from homeless and hunger, Chance Taylor worries about things other kids his age never give a second thought. Where will the money come from fort the electricity bill and grocery bill? When a new job falls his way, Chance jumps at the opportunity, becoming a runner who picks up strange packages. Chance knows how much he will earn, what he doesn’t know is how much he will pay.


 Suspenseful, fast paced, and timely this novel avoids easy answers as it examines issues of terrorism and patriotism, fear and courage, and lives of privilege and poverty.


Have you ever had to make an adult decision and your still only a teenager? Chance Taylor in the novel Runner does it every day of his life, just so he’ll have a place to live, or even food to eat. I doubt anybody who reads this book review has ever had to do anything like that, but I never know. Just think about it. How would it feel to live with your alcoholic father who can’t keep a steady job and you live on a boat? A mother who abandoned you and you has no clue where she’s at? This is the vey challenge Chance s put against in this novel. While I enjoyed this fast-paced and suspenseful story, I mostly enjoyed the unique setting, the touching theme and the amazing conflict.


I enjoyed the unique setting set in this book, and I don’t think I’ve ever heard of one like this one before. Chance and his father Jack Taylor live on a boat at Pier B of Seattle at the sound, but it’s not what you think. When you hear the sentence,” I live on a boat”. You might think of a big yacht or even a house boat, but no this boat is nothing big. It’s a boat called the Tiny Dancer and I’m surprised myself that they can even live on it where it’s so small.


Secondly, I enjoyed the touching theme within this book, and there are a few. I’m only to talk about one particular and this comes straight out of the book,” I’ve read about kids who hate their parents for being alcoholics’. Chance never really got that, even though his dad is an on and off alcoholic and can’t even take care of him, barely himself. Chance says,” It’d be like hating a wounded animal for being wounded, which makes no sense at all”. That’s very true too, and his dad doesn’t give up as I said up there,” on and off alcoholic”. I wrote that meaning he gets himself cleaned up and ready for job interviews, but when it doesn’t go very well he goes right back to his alcohol. So when Chance has so much to hate his dad for he doesn’t.


Lastly, I enjoyed the amazing conflict towards Chance. He goes through so much with his father, making him have no choice to find a job. He started out washing dishes on the weekends at Ray’s restaurant, a fancy fish place right down from Pier B. Then he quits his job when he is offered a suspicious job from the fat guy in the marina office that pays good money. He asked if he wanted to run his normal route that he runs every day, which is out to the locks, over the magnolia, back along the marina, through Golden Garden Park and then onto the beach. Chance to the job and gets paid two hundred dollar just to carry a backpack and picking up a black and red package in the nooks and crannies of the boulders of a big maple tree, where he stops and stretches. He puts it in the backpack not knowing what’s in them, and the red ones he stores on the Tiny Dancer like he’s told to do. Chance never knows what’s in them until one day he takes a look inside after everything had happened to the fat guy.


Overall I enjoyed this novel and wish there was more to it, but there’s not. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a book that keeps you on the edge of your seat, not know what’s going to happen, making you think about so many things about life. I promise you if you read this book there won’t be any setting the book down, if you’re like me anyways. Through the unique setting, touching theme and the amazing conflict, the novel Runner by Carl Deuker is one amazing book.




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