Peg Kehret has written about 50 books for tween readers, and when you start reading one of her books, you know what you're going to get: crisp writing, a plot that moves along nicely, and characters at a pivotal point in their lives. Runaway Twin is all that and more, and makes for a genuinely captivating read for young and old alike.
At the center of the story is Sunny Skyland, orphaned at age three after an auto accident claimed her mother and grandmother. Sunny and her twin sister Starr were separated at that time, and Sunny has been bouncing around the foster care system for the past ten years. Sunny longs to reconnect with her twin and regain the sense of family she's never really known. Armed with a faded photograph, a few rumors, and a satchel full of found cash, Sunny runs away from foster home number seven and hops on a bus following the stone-cold trail.
True to form, Kehret adds plenty of opportunities for Sunny to make some tough decisions. (And would it be a Peg Kehret book without at least one natural disaster?) On the surface, this is a story about one girl searching for another. By the middle of the book, we discover that Sunny is really trying to find herself. Kehret's doesn't ramp-up the emotions. Runaway Twin is exciting without being shocking. It is dramatic without being operatic. It is sad without being maudlin. It is filled with longing, but no angst. Kehret treats her readers with respect. No reason to rely on melodrama. Let the characters and the plot drive the story. Runaway Twin doesn't answer all the questions, but it doesn't beg for a sequel, either. We know the characters, and we know what will happen to them in the future.
Expect young readers to tell you this is their favorite book ever. Runaway Twin is 200 pages of tween heaven - empowering, self-examining, and thought-provoking. Recommend it to your readers without hesitation.