Seventeen-year-old Ryan is running out of chances — in and out of juvie since he was thirteen, he always seems to end up back in the same place. But this time, Ryan promises himself as he leaves the detention centre, will be different. He's determined to stay out of trouble. Being just a few months shy of eighteen means that next time he's picked up by the cops, he could end up in adult prison.
But Ryan's only out for a few hours before things start to sour. His abusive, alcoholic father kicks him out of the house and Ryan witnesses two of his old partners in crime doing a break and enter. With nowhere to go and scared that he'll be picked up for the crime, Ryan decides to breach his probation and flee to Ontario to find a former foster family — the only people who have ever truly cared about him. On the road he meets Pete, a truck driver who gives him a lift. As the hours turn into days on the road, the two connect and Ryan comes clean about his past. Pete seems to understand Ryan, and Ryan learns that Pete, too, has a troubled past but has turned his life around. For the first time, Ryan begins to have hope that he'll turn out okay too.
Then, on a cold, snowy night in Saskatchewan, Pete's semi skids and overturns. Both men survive the crash, but Pete is injured. Now Ryan has to decide what to do: stay with Pete until help arrives and risk being sent back to juvie for breaching his probation, or keep running.
MARILYN ANNE HOLMAN has worked as a clinical counsellor with parents, probation officers, social workers, teachers and youth, including foster kids, adopted kids, young offenders, teens and children in schools. On the Run is her first published novel for teens. Marilyn lives in Victoria, BC.