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The Art of Running Away

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Twelve-year-old Maisie is an artist. When she’s in front of her sketchbook or apprenticing at Glenna’s Portraits, the family-run art shop her grandmother started, the world makes sense. She doesn’t think about Calum, her brother who mysteriously left home and cut ties with her family six years ago, or her parents’ insistence that she “broaden her horizons” and try somethin Twelve-year-old Maisie is an artist. When she’s in front of her sketchbook or apprenticing at Glenna’s Portraits, the family-run art shop her grandmother started, the world makes sense. She doesn’t think about Calum, her brother who mysteriously left home and cut ties with her family six years ago, or her parents’ insistence that she “broaden her horizons” and try something new—something that isn’t art. But when Glenna’s Portraits falls on hard times, Maisie’s plan to take over the shop when she’s older and become a lifelong artist starts to crumble. In desperation to make things right, Maisie runs away to London to reconnect with her adult brother, hoping he might be the key to saving the shop. But as Maisie learns about her family’s past from Calum, she starts to rethink everything she’s ever known. Maisie must decide not only if saving her family’s art shop is worth it, but if she can forgive her parents for the mistakes they've made.


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Twelve-year-old Maisie is an artist. When she’s in front of her sketchbook or apprenticing at Glenna’s Portraits, the family-run art shop her grandmother started, the world makes sense. She doesn’t think about Calum, her brother who mysteriously left home and cut ties with her family six years ago, or her parents’ insistence that she “broaden her horizons” and try somethin Twelve-year-old Maisie is an artist. When she’s in front of her sketchbook or apprenticing at Glenna’s Portraits, the family-run art shop her grandmother started, the world makes sense. She doesn’t think about Calum, her brother who mysteriously left home and cut ties with her family six years ago, or her parents’ insistence that she “broaden her horizons” and try something new—something that isn’t art. But when Glenna’s Portraits falls on hard times, Maisie’s plan to take over the shop when she’s older and become a lifelong artist starts to crumble. In desperation to make things right, Maisie runs away to London to reconnect with her adult brother, hoping he might be the key to saving the shop. But as Maisie learns about her family’s past from Calum, she starts to rethink everything she’s ever known. Maisie must decide not only if saving her family’s art shop is worth it, but if she can forgive her parents for the mistakes they've made.

30 review for The Art of Running Away

  1. 5 out of 5

    Tina

    This is a LGBT Middle Grade book that covers so many important topics. This book bring light to what happens when parents does not supports their kids no matter who they are, but I also think this book also shows young kids that parents are not always perfect. I think this is one of the most important middle grade book I have read. The characters are very well written and develops through out the book. This is a cute story with a great storyline. This book would be a great for a parent and kid t This is a LGBT Middle Grade book that covers so many important topics. This book bring light to what happens when parents does not supports their kids no matter who they are, but I also think this book also shows young kids that parents are not always perfect. I think this is one of the most important middle grade book I have read. The characters are very well written and develops through out the book. This is a cute story with a great storyline. This book would be a great for a parent and kid to read together because I feel this book can help get parents and kids talking about a lot of things. I was kindly provided an e-copy of this book by the publisher (Jolly Fish Press) or author (Sabrina Kleckner) via NetGalley, so I can give an honest review about how I feel about this book. I want to send a big Thank you to them for that.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Reading_ Tamishly

    The story talks about a twelve year old Maisie whose life revolves around art and her best friend, Alicia. Her parents are worried if she wouldn't get much other life skills if she carries on with just art and so she gets sent away to another country where her aunt Lisa lives. I love her comforting the writing is. I got to experience Scotland! It's so beautiful. It's like art. That's how beautiful the writing is. And how humorous it gets at times. The plot explores culture, art, relationship betw The story talks about a twelve year old Maisie whose life revolves around art and her best friend, Alicia. Her parents are worried if she wouldn't get much other life skills if she carries on with just art and so she gets sent away to another country where her aunt Lisa lives. I love her comforting the writing is. I got to experience Scotland! It's so beautiful. It's like art. That's how beautiful the writing is. And how humorous it gets at times. The plot explores culture, art, relationship between parents and teens, coming of age, the bond between siblings and friendship. Maisie has to do something to save the Glenna's Portraits, their family-run art shop, when it's sponsor gets cut off. She hatches a plan with her brother who ran away six years ago and somehow it reconnects their relationship. I like Rose as much. However, I did hope for a better role from the adult characters. Such an emotional ride. It's definitely worth the read. Discover some big secrets about the characters that's coming up. You will get a good answer what would happen to the art shop. Pick up this book for all the feels and family vibes. The cover is so pretty! The contents live up to it. Thank you, author and North Star Editions, for the advance reading copy.

  3. 5 out of 5

    atlas ♡

    ☆ 4/5 ☆ Honestly, this was such a sweet short read. I usually wouldn't request a middle grade ARC but who can pass off on a quick queer novel? This novel follows a 12 yr old named Maisie. Her life revolves around her best friend, Alicia. Maisie's parents end up sending her to another country with her aunt Lisa. She ends up running away with her brother, Calum, who ran away years ago. Maisie has to find a way to save her family's art shop, Glenna's Portraits. The sibling bond between Maisie and Ca ☆ 4/5 ☆ Honestly, this was such a sweet short read. I usually wouldn't request a middle grade ARC but who can pass off on a quick queer novel? This novel follows a 12 yr old named Maisie. Her life revolves around her best friend, Alicia. Maisie's parents end up sending her to another country with her aunt Lisa. She ends up running away with her brother, Calum, who ran away years ago. Maisie has to find a way to save her family's art shop, Glenna's Portraits. The sibling bond between Maisie and Calum is explored a lot and I really enjoyed it! The familial bonds in general actually. I absolutely loved the way art was talked about here. The humor was funnier then I thought it would be. There are many topics that we talk about in this novel and they're all done so well. The talk about allyship was incredibly written. This book is definitely worth it and I would recommend it to all ages, despite it's middle grade label. Thank you to Netgalley and Flux for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Nev

    This was a really sweet Middle Grade story about a young girl reconnecting with her older brother who ran away 6 years ago while also trying to save her family’s art shop. I enjoyed watching Maisie as she wrestled with her feelings towards her family as she learned more about her brother’s situation and the mistakes her parents made. There were a lot of great conversations in the story about what it means to be an ally and who is able to accept an apology for something. While there is a lot of m This was a really sweet Middle Grade story about a young girl reconnecting with her older brother who ran away 6 years ago while also trying to save her family’s art shop. I enjoyed watching Maisie as she wrestled with her feelings towards her family as she learned more about her brother’s situation and the mistakes her parents made. There were a lot of great conversations in the story about what it means to be an ally and who is able to accept an apology for something. While there is a lot of more serious, emotional content there are also some really funny scenes as well. I thought the story ended in a nice place. Without giving any spoilers, it’s a positive ending but everything isn’t automatically perfect. I think this is a story that has appeal across age categories. I’d definitely recommend checking it out if you enjoy stories about family, LGBTQ+ characters, and art. Thank you to the publisher for providing an advance copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Mimi

    The amount of times I teared up reading this story is only surpassed by the times I laughed and that's the only thing you need to know to pick up this flawless book The amount of times I teared up reading this story is only surpassed by the times I laughed and that's the only thing you need to know to pick up this flawless book

  6. 4 out of 5

    Belles Middle Grade Library

    This was such an amazing book. So brilliantly told. I flew through this. Maisie is an artist. When she’s in front of her sketchbook or apprenticing at Glenna’s Portraits, the family-run art shop her grandmother started, the world makes sense. She doesn’t think about Calum, her brother who mysteriously left home & cut ties with her family 6 years ago, or her parents’ insistence that she “broaden her horizons” & try something new—something that isn’t art. But when Glenna’s Portraits falls on hard This was such an amazing book. So brilliantly told. I flew through this. Maisie is an artist. When she’s in front of her sketchbook or apprenticing at Glenna’s Portraits, the family-run art shop her grandmother started, the world makes sense. She doesn’t think about Calum, her brother who mysteriously left home & cut ties with her family 6 years ago, or her parents’ insistence that she “broaden her horizons” & try something new—something that isn’t art. But when Glenna’s Portraits falls on hard times, Maisie’s plan to take over the shop when she’s older & become a lifelong artist starts to crumble. In desperation to make things right, Maisie runs away to London to reconnect with her adult brother, hoping he might be the key to saving the shop. But as Maisie learns about her family’s past from Calum, she starts to rethink everything she’s ever known. Maisie must decide not only if saving her family’s art shop is worth it, but if she can forgive her parents for the mistakes they've made. I’m not usually much of a contemporary reader, but I couldn’t put this down. This author knows how to tell an amazing story, & have it flow beautifully & keep you intrigued the whole way. So atmospheric from where we start at Maisie’s home, to Scotland, & then London. The art parts were written so well, I could see them in my head clearly. I loved all the different types talked about, & was especially intrigued with the art Benji did. Such a powerful, meaningful, important read. So many great messages & themes in here. Family, friendship, forgiveness, being an ally & the meaning, & so much more. I also loved the friendship with her best friend Alicia & loved their texts lol Such great humor & the dynamic between them was superb. I absolutely LOVED Alicia’s dog’s names too! So good lol! This comes out Tuesday the 16th! Highly recommend! Beautiful cover by Ana Bidault too!💜

  7. 5 out of 5

    Romie

    this book was so quiet and yet so impactful! the way it dealt with being queer but not being fully accepted by your family, finding who you truly are, and sibling relationship was just so touching! I also loved that a part of this book took place in Edinburgh (I'm very biased when it comes to my city) (4.22) this book was so quiet and yet so impactful! the way it dealt with being queer but not being fully accepted by your family, finding who you truly are, and sibling relationship was just so touching! I also loved that a part of this book took place in Edinburgh (I'm very biased when it comes to my city) (4.22)

  8. 5 out of 5

    Alicia

    I got approved of an e-ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Flux Publishing. This did not affect my review or rating in any way. The book is MG and it handles sensible topics amazing. Kids can understand it and they should read it cause i couldn't find a bad thing about it. Adults should read it too since it can teach them a lot not only about being an ally to the lgbtq+ community but also healthy relationships in a family and feelings. Even tho our situa I got approved of an e-ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Flux Publishing. This did not affect my review or rating in any way. The book is MG and it handles sensible topics amazing. Kids can understand it and they should read it cause i couldn't find a bad thing about it. Adults should read it too since it can teach them a lot not only about being an ally to the lgbtq+ community but also healthy relationships in a family and feelings. Even tho our situations aren't similar our feelings were. Seeing how everything turned out ok is comforting in a way i can't explain. Don't assume that this book is only character driven, it has a good plot and also it's worth the read even only for the character development and the things it can teach you. Just give it a chance and you won't regret it.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Potterhead Aanya

    Oh wow, just wow, words aren't enough to describe this book!!! This was such a beautiful book, it was heart wrenching the way Masie bonds with her long lost brother and how she made an emotionless person cry. The emotion and the humor were in perfect proportion, the parrot incident was quite funny xD. This book throws light on LGBTQIA community and the problems they face and is a perfect read in pride month! Glad that Glenna's was saved!! I really hope this book has a sequel and congratulations to Oh wow, just wow, words aren't enough to describe this book!!! This was such a beautiful book, it was heart wrenching the way Masie bonds with her long lost brother and how she made an emotionless person cry. The emotion and the humor were in perfect proportion, the parrot incident was quite funny xD. This book throws light on LGBTQIA community and the problems they face and is a perfect read in pride month! Glad that Glenna's was saved!! I really hope this book has a sequel and congratulations to the author for writing such a touching book!! This book is now one of my favorites!! My rating 5 out 5 (really wanna give it more) Full review on my blog

  10. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    Thanks to the publisher for providing an eARC of The Art of Running Away in exchange for an honest review. I'm currently crying over a middle grade book so, that's where I'm at right now in life I guess. This was so, so, well done. The Art of Running Away is part "comedic story about a 12 year old girl suddenly living with her older brother and his two zany roommates" and part "heart-wrenchingly intelligent, nuanced discussion about allyship" and it balances the two expertly. I've seen a lot of pe Thanks to the publisher for providing an eARC of The Art of Running Away in exchange for an honest review. I'm currently crying over a middle grade book so, that's where I'm at right now in life I guess. This was so, so, well done. The Art of Running Away is part "comedic story about a 12 year old girl suddenly living with her older brother and his two zany roommates" and part "heart-wrenchingly intelligent, nuanced discussion about allyship" and it balances the two expertly. I've seen a lot of people talking about how they wish Maisie's parents played a bigger role here, but I'm honestly glad they were fairly distant from a lot of the plot. This is entirely the story of Maisie and Calum and how their parents and their actions effected them, it's not a think piece that needs to delve into the psychology behind why those crappy actions occurred because it's about results, not intent. I think this book is honestly good for allies and queerfolk alike of all ages despite its middle grade status (I was definitely laughing along to a lot of the humour here and feel like it caters to a lot of demographics) and I'm super jealous this didn't exist when I was Maisie's age.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Vee_Bookish

    Suddenly sent to Scotland when her family's portrait business is in trouble, Maisie stumbles on an opportunity to reconnect with her older brother Calum, who mysteriously left years previously and never spoke to her or her family again. Seeing an opportunity to save her family's business, she follows him to London. I really loved Calum. He lives with his Queer, artistic found family of graphic designers and his boyfriend, a street artist. As an older Queer reader, I naturally connected with him a Suddenly sent to Scotland when her family's portrait business is in trouble, Maisie stumbles on an opportunity to reconnect with her older brother Calum, who mysteriously left years previously and never spoke to her or her family again. Seeing an opportunity to save her family's business, she follows him to London. I really loved Calum. He lives with his Queer, artistic found family of graphic designers and his boyfriend, a street artist. As an older Queer reader, I naturally connected with him and understood exactly why he left, and struggled to even contact his family, immediately. I can't quite work out what it was, but there something about the conclusion to this story that made me feel that there was something missing, something unresolved. The story was wrapped very well though, Maisie made plans for future and reconnected with her brother, and the Queer rep was really well written.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Saranna

    ☆ Thank you to Netgalley and Flux for an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review ☆ This book initially caught my interest because of the art side of the story and me being an artist myself got interested in it. We follow a young girl named Maisie who 'works' at her family business, Glenna's portraits. She loves working here but her parents think she should 'broaden her horizons'. They decide on sending her away to her aunt Lisa in another country. However when she comes there she chooses to run awa ☆ Thank you to Netgalley and Flux for an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review ☆ This book initially caught my interest because of the art side of the story and me being an artist myself got interested in it. We follow a young girl named Maisie who 'works' at her family business, Glenna's portraits. She loves working here but her parents think she should 'broaden her horizons'. They decide on sending her away to her aunt Lisa in another country. However when she comes there she chooses to run away with her brother Calum who ran away himself six years ago. Whilst being with her brother in London she learns that Glenna's portraits is going through hard times and she has to find a way to save the shop. I really enjoyed reading this book, it was honestly such a fast and comforting read. It explores a lot of different relationships e.g between Maisie and her parents and her brother Calum. We got to see how Calum and Maisie got from not knowing each other at all to being like my favorite brother and sister relation (I mean this is how I want to be with my sister). The writing was also really good, there was a lot of humor from every characters side (especially Maisie, she was really funny). But there were also some more serious and 'havier' topics e.g some light homophobia understandable for middle graders. I think Sabrina did a great job with her debut novel and can't wait until this officially comes out and everyone can read it. I recommend this book to anyone despite this being marked as a middle grade book.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Paige

    Disclaimer: I received this e-arc and book from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own. Book: The Art of Running Away Author: Sabrina Kleckner Book Series: Standalone Rating: 5/5 Diversity: 1 Japanese British character, m/m romance, queer characters (no specific mention of where they fall in the LGBTQIA+), non-binary side character, enby/f romance Recommended For...: middle grade readers, LGBTQIA and allies, contemporary Publication Date: November 16, 2021 Genre: YA Contemporary Recommended Age: Disclaimer: I received this e-arc and book from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own. Book: The Art of Running Away Author: Sabrina Kleckner Book Series: Standalone Rating: 5/5 Diversity: 1 Japanese British character, m/m romance, queer characters (no specific mention of where they fall in the LGBTQIA+), non-binary side character, enby/f romance Recommended For...: middle grade readers, LGBTQIA and allies, contemporary Publication Date: November 16, 2021 Genre: YA Contemporary Recommended Age: 10+ (running away, homophobia, slight language) Explanation of CWs: Mentions of homophobia. There is one curse word in the book. Running away is shown and mentioned. Publisher: Jolly Fish Press Pages: 257 Synopsis: Twelve-year-old Maisie is an artist. When she’s in front of her sketchbook or apprenticing at Glenna’s Portraits, the family-run art shop her grandmother started, the world makes sense. She doesn’t think about Calum, her brother who mysteriously left home and cut ties with her family six years ago, or her parents’ insistence that she “broaden her horizons” and try something new—something that isn’t art. But when Glenna’s Portraits falls on hard times, Maisie’s plan to take over the shop when she’s older and become a lifelong artist starts to crumble. In desperation to make things right, Maisie runs away to London to reconnect with her adult brother, hoping he might be the key to saving the shop. But as Maisie learns about her family’s past from Calum, she starts to rethink everything she’s ever known. Maisie must decide not only if saving her family’s art shop is worth it, but if she can forgive her parents for the mistakes they've made. Review: I thought this was a well done book! I loved the story and how well written it was. I loved the messaged about how to be a good ally (one I think a lot of people need to read). I also loved how the author kept the book modern and showed how different 6 years is. Today it feels like it’s much more accepting to be out, but when I was in school and even a few short years ago it was not like this. I also loved the character development and the world building. The only issue I really had with the book is that there were some events that I felt like a middle grade aged child wouldn’t know, like how to hop countries without being caught. Verdict: It was great!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sabrina Kleckner

    Hi everyone, thank you so much for reading and reviewing THE ART OF RUNNING AWAY! I will be scarce on here, but just wanted to let people know that I've announced a preorder campaign for the book. If you preorder THE ART OF RUNNING AWAY or request it from a library, you can fill out this form here: my link text to receive: -a digital short story from Calum's point of view, set over the weekend in Edinburgh when he asks Maisie to spend the summer with him in London (it's 8,000 words/36 pages) -a po Hi everyone, thank you so much for reading and reviewing THE ART OF RUNNING AWAY! I will be scarce on here, but just wanted to let people know that I've announced a preorder campaign for the book. If you preorder THE ART OF RUNNING AWAY or request it from a library, you can fill out this form here: my link text to receive: -a digital short story from Calum's point of view, set over the weekend in Edinburgh when he asks Maisie to spend the summer with him in London (it's 8,000 words/36 pages) -a postcard with gorgeous art of Maisie and Calum by @kidovna on one side, and a handwritten message on the other (the message is printed on the card and not personally signed because I'm not living in the US) -a bookmark I will leave this space now, but it truly means the world to me that people have been reading my book! Thank you <3

  15. 5 out of 5

    Phoenix (Books with Wings)

    Thank you to Edelweiss and the publisher for a review copy. All thoughts and opinions are my own and have not been affected by this. I got approved for this book on Edelweiss today and I practically read the entire thing nonstop. This was such a fun, sweet read! Honestly, I think that this book is extremely important, especially to middle grade readers. It teaches someone a lot about being an ally to the LGBTQ+ community. I loved this book, because it was so clear through it all that Maisie was st Thank you to Edelweiss and the publisher for a review copy. All thoughts and opinions are my own and have not been affected by this. I got approved for this book on Edelweiss today and I practically read the entire thing nonstop. This was such a fun, sweet read! Honestly, I think that this book is extremely important, especially to middle grade readers. It teaches someone a lot about being an ally to the LGBTQ+ community. I loved this book, because it was so clear through it all that Maisie was still learning, she didn't know all the things and this book really was a lot of a learning process for her. She made mistakes, but she also was taught why not to do what she did, what to do better, and that was super nice to see. I really enjoyed Maisie as a main character. I feel like a lot of authors write the MCs of their middle grade books too young or too old, but I thought that Maisie's voice was PERFECT. The side characters were also really well written in my opinion. They each very much had their own interests and personalities and I got to know each of them separately. On the plot - a lot of this plot has to do with Maisie getting to know her brother better as well as trying to save her family's art studio. She also battles with some complicated feelings about why her brother ran away and what her family did to her brother. I thought that all of this was handled super well and a lot of the things that the parents said were really wise. I think probably my favorite part of the book was when Rose talked to Maisie about being an ally and why it's important. I liked that Maisie didn't just take it all and understood immediately. She actually questioned, she said 'why' she tried to understand it fully. This isn't something that I see in books a lot, characters actually trying to understand fully and asking questions during discussions like this (I say 'discussions like this'....but in reality, there are no 'discussions like this'. This is the first that I've EVER seen, middle grade or otherwise). All in all, this was an amazing read, and I'd totally recommend it for all ages!

  16. 4 out of 5

    reese collins

    First off, I'd like to thank NetGalley and Flux Publishing for this e-ARC in exchange for an honest review. The Art of Running Away is a middle grade contemporary novel centering around Maisie, a 12 year old girl, sent off to a different continent to explore life outside of her world of art. The trip suddenly takes a left turn however, after she meets her brother she hasn't seen in years. The book is set to take you on a trip through family ties, relationship building, and what it means to truly First off, I'd like to thank NetGalley and Flux Publishing for this e-ARC in exchange for an honest review. The Art of Running Away is a middle grade contemporary novel centering around Maisie, a 12 year old girl, sent off to a different continent to explore life outside of her world of art. The trip suddenly takes a left turn however, after she meets her brother she hasn't seen in years. The book is set to take you on a trip through family ties, relationship building, and what it means to truly be an ally. Normally, I wouldn't pick up a middle grade book but the description really enticed me, after all who would say no to a light-hearted gay book? The central theme of familial relationships and the true meaning of allyship really hit this book out of the park. It was comedic, and smoothly written. Some very meaningful lines, here and there. I loved how well-written and consistent Calum is written to be, as well as the character development evident from Maisie, who is after all a soon-to-be teenager prone to making mistakes. I guess my only qualm for the book is how the adults lacked connection to anything and everything related to the book? Mostly because it was told from Maisie's POV but oftentimes Calum was more a father figure than a brother because of the lack of adult presence in guiding Maisie's journey through identity. Overall, however, it is a quick read that I read in one sitting and rather enjoyed myself. A perfect middle-grade book to introduce to younger audiences the value of being there for people, and learning to change. "Being dramatic is just another way of saying someone is taking up space, and I'm allowed to do that."

  17. 4 out of 5

    Catherine Bakewell

    An extraordinary book that is overflowing with humor and heart. This book is so thoughtful and thought-provoking, but through the lens of a clever, silly twelve-year-old. It deals with grief, forgiveness, allyship, and learning to put the needs of others above your own. I would recommend this book to anyone, and I'm certain it will become a favorite for lots of kids. Has the complex emotions and fun voice great for fans of John Green, or kids who aren't quite old enough for his books yet. I love An extraordinary book that is overflowing with humor and heart. This book is so thoughtful and thought-provoking, but through the lens of a clever, silly twelve-year-old. It deals with grief, forgiveness, allyship, and learning to put the needs of others above your own. I would recommend this book to anyone, and I'm certain it will become a favorite for lots of kids. Has the complex emotions and fun voice great for fans of John Green, or kids who aren't quite old enough for his books yet. I loved Maisie and her relationship with her brother, all the side characters, and most of all, how Maisie and the author deal with complicated, messy emotions. Forgiveness and healing don't happen quickly. Sometimes they don't happen at all. And Maisie is dealing with seeing her brother in pain and trying to help him through that - and figuring out the difference between helping and meddling. An amazing, beautiful book that even had some laugh out loud moments!!

  18. 5 out of 5

    The Nerd Daily

    Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Mimi Koehler Emotional and immersive, The Art of Running Away breaks your heart as many times as it fixes it. With unforgettable characters, authentic sibling squabbles and a big heart at the centre of it all, Kleckner’s debut is not to be missed! Read the FULL REVIEW on The Nerd Daily Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Mimi Koehler Emotional and immersive, The Art of Running Away breaks your heart as many times as it fixes it. With unforgettable characters, authentic sibling squabbles and a big heart at the centre of it all, Kleckner’s debut is not to be missed! Read the FULL REVIEW on The Nerd Daily

  19. 5 out of 5

    Joefel

    (Review Coming Soon!)

  20. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    I absolutely loved this book. Anyone who knows me, knows that I LOVE a story with a strong focus on siblings, and this book delivered on exactly that. The Art of Running Away is about Maisie, a 12 year old girl, who is sent to spend the summer with her aunt in Edinburgh when her family's art studio loses its major investor. She then discovers that her estranged brother (who ran away from home 6 years prior) works for the company that cut funding to the studio and she runs away to London to try an I absolutely loved this book. Anyone who knows me, knows that I LOVE a story with a strong focus on siblings, and this book delivered on exactly that. The Art of Running Away is about Maisie, a 12 year old girl, who is sent to spend the summer with her aunt in Edinburgh when her family's art studio loses its major investor. She then discovers that her estranged brother (who ran away from home 6 years prior) works for the company that cut funding to the studio and she runs away to London to try and get him to help her save the family business. Along the way, she learns secrets about why he left, and it makes her question everything she knows. This was such a great story. I loved Maisie's development and seeing all her different relationships change, for better or worse. There were so many important discussions and lessons in this book, but there was also levity and it was just so well done. I liked that it didn't shy away from the difficult topics, but it was done in a way that didn't make the whole book heavy. Maisie learned and grew so much, and I loved the way these discussions were handled. This is a beautiful story that is going to stay with me for a long time, and I highly recommend it. Thank you so much to Jolly Fish Press and netgalley for providing me with this arc in exchange for an honest review.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sophie

    Excuse me but this was 100% an amazing read?? I loved it so much. It's got everything: siblings dynamics (even with a 10 years old difference between them), complicated family feelings, art, being queer and being an ally, also important platonic relationships and growing up and finding yourself (and your art style). (a million stars for the humour. I laughed the entire length of chapter 13) Excuse me but this was 100% an amazing read?? I loved it so much. It's got everything: siblings dynamics (even with a 10 years old difference between them), complicated family feelings, art, being queer and being an ally, also important platonic relationships and growing up and finding yourself (and your art style). (a million stars for the humour. I laughed the entire length of chapter 13)

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus Maisie's family run Glenna's, an art studio that specializes in portraits which Maisie hopes to take over when she grows up. Her father does most of the art, while her organized, no nonsense mother takes care of the business aspects. Her older brother, Calum, ran away from home six years previously, and no one ever talks about him. Maisie's best friend, Alicia, is working with her on a poetry and art book, but seems to be pulling away now that she is dating Rowan E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus Maisie's family run Glenna's, an art studio that specializes in portraits which Maisie hopes to take over when she grows up. Her father does most of the art, while her organized, no nonsense mother takes care of the business aspects. Her older brother, Calum, ran away from home six years previously, and no one ever talks about him. Maisie's best friend, Alicia, is working with her on a poetry and art book, but seems to be pulling away now that she is dating Rowan and spending a lot of time with them. (Rowan is nonbinary.) When her parents suddenly tell her that she is spending the summer in Scotland with her aunt, Maisie is angry that her summer plans are ruined and that she doesn't have a say in the matter. Her Aunt Lisa is nice enough, and the ice cream shop she runs in Edinburgh is interesting, but just as she is set to settle in, Calum shows up in the middle of the night. He lives in London now, and has a hectic business career, but he wants to reconnect with Maisie. She wants to hear his story, especially when she finds out that Glenna's is losing their main funding, and the company for which her brother works is the one pulling out. She concocts a plan to run away and spend the summer in London with Calum, trying to save Glenna's. Her brother goes along with the plan, and soon she is ensconced in his small London flat with roommates, Benji and Rose. Because Calum is so busy at his work, he has Maisie tag along to Rose's college classes. When it turns out that Benji is dating Calum, and that the reason Calum left home had to do largely with their parents' treatment of his because he was gay, Maisie struggles with being an ally to her brother. Will she be able to save her family business, and the family itself? Strengths: There's a lot of good LGBTQIA+ representation; in addition to Rowan and Calum, Alicia has two mothers. Maisie herself isn't sure where her attractions lie, and the discussion with Rose about how to be an effective ally is an important one. I'm a fan of any book that involves traveling to other countries, and Maisie does manage to enjoy her time away from home. The struggling art business, as well as Maisie's artistic aspirations, will appeal to many readers. Weaknesses: As an adult, I didn't like the fact that not only does Maisie run away, but she frequently ignores her parents' texts and acts in an unsafe manner. She never really has any consequences for this. What I really think: This looked like an upbeat story, but ended up being exceedingly fraught with many issues. It is available in prebind from Follett.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Paige

    The Art of Running away is a beautiful LGBT middle grade book that wears its heart on its sleeve and welcomes the people lucky enough to read it into a colorful world of love, sorrow, humor, and growth. Maisie is the most realistic middle grade character I have read in years, and by the end of the book she felt like a long lost friend. Each character is deftly brought to life by Kleckner, and I really appreciated the ensemble cast of characters who are all funny and unique. The story gently reve The Art of Running away is a beautiful LGBT middle grade book that wears its heart on its sleeve and welcomes the people lucky enough to read it into a colorful world of love, sorrow, humor, and growth. Maisie is the most realistic middle grade character I have read in years, and by the end of the book she felt like a long lost friend. Each character is deftly brought to life by Kleckner, and I really appreciated the ensemble cast of characters who are all funny and unique. The story gently reveals itself to the reader as we learn more about why Calum ran away from home years before, and we witness both Maisie's external journey abroad and her internal journey of understanding about what it truly means to be an ally. Reading this book felt like getting a warm hug after a bad day, even when things weren't all rainbows and sparkles for Maisie. Although this middle grade book does not shy away from exploring difficult topics, it also comes with a lot of laughs as Maisie and Calum awkwardly but adorably explore their sibling bond, and Calum's delightful roommates chime in to the hilarity. I laughed, I cried, and as soon as I finished it I started reading it again from the beginning. I recommend this book to people of all ages, and overall I give The Art of Running Away 5/5 Stars.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Gabriella Crivilare

    Thank you to Flux/Jolly Fish Press, the author, and NetGalley for providing me with this eARC in exchange for an honest review. This book will release November 16, 2021. I'll just dive right into this review despite the fact that usually I summarize the books a bit because I typed up a very nice summary and accidentally deleted it and now I'm irate! Suffice it to say that Maisie's brother Calum left home without warning six years ago, and when she is sent to Edinburgh to live with an aunt for the Thank you to Flux/Jolly Fish Press, the author, and NetGalley for providing me with this eARC in exchange for an honest review. This book will release November 16, 2021. I'll just dive right into this review despite the fact that usually I summarize the books a bit because I typed up a very nice summary and accidentally deleted it and now I'm irate! Suffice it to say that Maisie's brother Calum left home without warning six years ago, and when she is sent to Edinburgh to live with an aunt for the summer, he comes to see her and she ends up running away to London with him, and in the process begins to understand what exactly happened to make him leave. Maisie is so much fun to hang around with. I feel like she's a very typical twelve-year-old girl (or at least, I very much recognized her as one, and that probably says a lot about me), but what may not be as typical is her fierce passion for art and her family's portrait shop. She does sketches for the oil paintings that her family does on commission and hopes to run the shop one day, so naturally when it turns out that part of the reason why she was sent away is that the shop is losing funding and will have to close, she makes it her mission find a way to keep it from going out of business. In fact, that's the initial reason she decides to head to London with Calum, although the situation becomes far more complicated than just that. Although there were a lot of things that I really enjoyed and appreciated about this book (hello, Maisie's best friend smells like lavender and Cheetos, move over she's my best friend now), the most well done, impactful, and central parts are the conversations Maisie has with Calum and his flatmates. They range from an explanation as to why Calum left home—alongside an explanation that not allowing someone to be who they are despite claiming you're fine with it will mess a person up, as well as a reminder that places change, and a town that may be more accepting of LGBTQ+ people now may not always have been that way—to tough realizations that forgiveness is not always yours to extend, and discussions of how best to be an ally. Of course, there's so much more to this book, like the ups and downs of Maisie's friendship with Alicia, as well as her sneaky plan to save the portrait shop and her contemplation of why she loves the shop so much and the search for an art style of her own, but the hard conversations are what stand out most to me, as they're not something I've seen for fiction in this age group yet. I'm so glad that the author made these often difficult conversations as much a part of the book as open, wholehearted acceptance and showed that even the most well-meaning people can mess up.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Elana

    I LOVED THIS. So many genuinely laugh-out-loud moments. Normally, I balk at first person, but, wow, this was so artfully done. The sentences were varied (not just "I" + verb, though it did have a bit of that near the beginning) and it read so well. Kleckner absolutely NAILED the narration. Maisie's voice was so clear. The writing struck such a delicate, perfect balance between humor (genuinely laugh-out-loud funny) and complex emotional scenes. Such care was done. Beyond impressed. It just... re I LOVED THIS. So many genuinely laugh-out-loud moments. Normally, I balk at first person, but, wow, this was so artfully done. The sentences were varied (not just "I" + verb, though it did have a bit of that near the beginning) and it read so well. Kleckner absolutely NAILED the narration. Maisie's voice was so clear. The writing struck such a delicate, perfect balance between humor (genuinely laugh-out-loud funny) and complex emotional scenes. Such care was done. Beyond impressed. It just... reflected life so well: the mundanity, the pain, the hilarity, the love. Wow. It was never maudlin. It was just--perfect. I devoured this book because it just lent itself so well to being read. I actually could not put it down. I brought my phone with me everywhere at work (sorry, coworkers!) so I could read the ARC; I couldn't stop. The voices of the characters in general were so distinct. Everyone felt like a living, breathing person, even if they didn't have much screen time. The pacing was near-perfect and information was revealed in stages. As a children's librarian, too, I'm accustomed to reading a lot of middle grade fiction. I've read so much. So, when I say I was IMMENSELY IMPRESSED by the depiction of allyship and trauma and family pain for a young audience. (view spoiler)[Honestly, I'm glad that the parents didn't play a large on-screen role. This isn't about them. This is Calum's story. It's about Calum and Maisie and how their parents' actions impacted them. As Maisie so aptly says, and I'm going to butcher it because I read it through the glaze of tears: it doesn't matter what the intent was behind the action; hurt is hurt is hurt. I'm glad they were more peripheral. (hide spoiler)] This is good reading for queer people and allies alike. It's good for all ages, too. It has immense appeal across categories and I am 110% pre-ordering it for my children's department. Thank you to NetGalley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review. I'll be reading anything Kleckner writes, thank you. Wow. What great writing, pacing, self-discovery, characters, descriptions, plotting, learning to put the needs of others above yourself, complexity... I could go on. I'm rambling. This is one of my favorite books of all time, honestly. I'm amazed by how much I loved it. Wow. Thank you most of all to Kleckner for writing this. Books like this are why I'm a children's librarian.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Alicia

    Thank you Jolly Fish Press for sending me an eARC for an honest review. 4/5 stars This was a fun middle-grade contemporary, and I liked the way it handled its themes and topics. The conversations about being an ally, and about forgiveness and who can forgive for certain situations were really good, and I felt like they were done in a really easy to understand way. Maisie was a good character, and I liked her growth throughout the story. At some times she was a bit annoying, but she would later re Thank you Jolly Fish Press for sending me an eARC for an honest review. 4/5 stars This was a fun middle-grade contemporary, and I liked the way it handled its themes and topics. The conversations about being an ally, and about forgiveness and who can forgive for certain situations were really good, and I felt like they were done in a really easy to understand way. Maisie was a good character, and I liked her growth throughout the story. At some times she was a bit annoying, but she would later recognize her not great attitude or behaviour and try to make things better. I thought the author gave Maisie a good and relatable voice, and the story flowed well. Maisie’s relationship with her brother was fun. I liked their teasing, and I liked that Calum set firm boundaries about what he was willing to talk about. Maisie struggled with this, but it felt realistic. I also felt that the author portrayed the awkwardness of Calum and Maisie’s relationship really well. I also liked how learning more about her brother forced Maisie to struggled with feelings about her parents and what had happened. I also liked the plot that followed Maisie trying to save Glenna’s (her family’s portrait shop), but it took a backseat a lot to Maisie’s feelings as she sorted them out. Overall I thought this was a good YA contemporary that handled complicated family dynamics and relationships really well.

  27. 5 out of 5

    holly

    Thank you to Jollyfish Press for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review. ”Sometimes people go through things we can’t understand. But that doesn’t mean what happened is any less real. Pain doesn’t have to be bloody to hurt.” When the publisher reached out to me regarding an ARC, my immediate response was sure because it sounded cute, and it was short (my brain had been struggling with chonky books). Anyways, now I’m sitting here at the end after having been put through an e Thank you to Jollyfish Press for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review. ”Sometimes people go through things we can’t understand. But that doesn’t mean what happened is any less real. Pain doesn’t have to be bloody to hurt.” When the publisher reached out to me regarding an ARC, my immediate response was sure because it sounded cute, and it was short (my brain had been struggling with chonky books). Anyways, now I’m sitting here at the end after having been put through an emotional roller coaster. So. There’s that. The Art of Running Away ultimately took me by surprise. It was short, and it was cute—but it was also the sort of book that sliced right through to my heart in specific and intimate ways. It has some really, really poignant conversations about identity and allyship that I think will resonate with the middle grade demographic (and those of us older than that), while adeptly weaving them into a story that is full of heart and humour. I adored Maisie’s voice, which made the book compulsively readable. Once I got going, I read over 70% of the book in a single sitting—which is very outside the norm for my current attention span.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Stéphanie Louis

    Maisie has one thing in her world that is the most important to her: her parents’ studio. She even wants to take it over when she’s grown up. However, not everything is going according to plan. She has to spend the holidays in Scotland with an aunt she doesn’t even know, and she makes a shocking discovery. Someone from her past is back, and she struggles with everything that she learns about her family and her life. I feel like I’ve been reading so many middle grade novels recently, and I don’t u Maisie has one thing in her world that is the most important to her: her parents’ studio. She even wants to take it over when she’s grown up. However, not everything is going according to plan. She has to spend the holidays in Scotland with an aunt she doesn’t even know, and she makes a shocking discovery. Someone from her past is back, and she struggles with everything that she learns about her family and her life. I feel like I’ve been reading so many middle grade novels recently, and I don’t understand why I’ve never read MG in the past because I’ve enjoyed all of these in the past few months. The Art of Running Away has beautiful writing and again there is an important lesson about love, friendship and family that this novel and Kleckner give to the reader. I won’t be able to tell you more about the book without giving it all away. Nevertheless, be prepared for some emotional content next to the funny scenes that you’re also able to discover in this book. If you want a quick read and a book that will make you feel better after a long day, then “The Art of Running Away” might be your next read. In my opinion, this is also the perfect read for a more mature audience.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Maryam

    The Art of Running Away is a MG novel that follows our 12-year-old narrator Maisie as she reunites with her adult brother after 6 years. The book deals with heavy topics such as homophobia using more accessible language for children to understand and it also talks about being an ally and how one can support members of the LGBTQ community. Honestly, this is such a comforting read and I finished it in under an hour. I don't know whether this applies to all children's books but I could feel the cha The Art of Running Away is a MG novel that follows our 12-year-old narrator Maisie as she reunites with her adult brother after 6 years. The book deals with heavy topics such as homophobia using more accessible language for children to understand and it also talks about being an ally and how one can support members of the LGBTQ community. Honestly, this is such a comforting read and I finished it in under an hour. I don't know whether this applies to all children's books but I could feel the characters' emotions rolling off the page (I still remember bawling my eyes out to the Girl and the Ghost Machine). This book was so immersive and I absolutely loved it. The Art of Running Away comes out on the 16th of November this year!! Thank you, NetGalley and Sabrina Kleckner for providing me with an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review <3

  30. 5 out of 5

    Rory

    Thank you NetGalley for sending me a digital copy of the book This is a book about family and identity. A sister who wants to save her family business but for that she has to lie to her brother. A brother she just met, and who she finally wants to know. Learning, family bounding, found family, finding your place and what you love. And on another continent You also see what happens when parents don’t listen to their kids. How when you’re young and you feel left alone, you don’t have a lot of choic Thank you NetGalley for sending me a digital copy of the book This is a book about family and identity. A sister who wants to save her family business but for that she has to lie to her brother. A brother she just met, and who she finally wants to know. Learning, family bounding, found family, finding your place and what you love. And on another continent You also see what happens when parents don’t listen to their kids. How when you’re young and you feel left alone, you don’t have a lot of choice. But sometimes parents learn from their mistakes It talks about allyship and what it means to be an ally. How to be a good ally, and how to stay in your place. Really a wonderful book. I didn’t know it would made me feel so much

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