Runners by Ann Kelley

The Lovereading4Kids comment

From the Costa Children's Book award-winning author of The Bower Bird comes Runners, a fast-paced novel set in the near future, in a world almost unrecognisable as our own. Ann Kelley's thriller is set in a time not so very far removed from our own, a time in which nobody trusts anybody, even two children on the run.


Runners by Ann Kelley

As mankind strives to rebuild society in the wake of climate change, over-population and global food shortages, every day is a struggle for people like Sid and his younger sister Lo. They are 'runners'- people whose very survival the government has outlawed. As they move west, trying to find family or somewhere they can call home, they must work out which of the people they meet on the way can be trusted, and which want to cut their adventure short. Encountering people on both sides of the law, as well as those who seem to exist outside it, Sid and Lo make and lose friends as they fight for their lives and each other.

About the Author

Ann Kelley

Ann Kelley is a photographer and prize-winning poet who once nearly played cricket for Cornwall. She has previously published a collection of poems and photographs, a book of photos of St Ives families and an audio book of cat stories.

She lives with her second husband and several cats on the edge of a cliff in Cornwall where they have survived a flood, a landslip, a lightning strike and the roof blowing off. She runs courses for aspiring poets at her home, writing courses for medics and medical students, and speaks about her poetry therapy work with patients at medical conferences.

From the author: "My son, Nathan died in 1985, aged 24, a week after a heart and lung transplant. He had a rare congenital heart defect – pulmonary atresia – the lack of a pulmonary artery.

"A clever lad, a scientist, he knew he had a short time to live but he lived every day to the full in the only way he could – studying, learning and with humour.
He was a self-taught fish pathologist – an ichthyologist. He actually discovered two cancers in fish when he was 16; they are registered in his name in the Smithsonian Institute and he studied Pathobiology at Reading University and then Space Science at UCL, before he became too ill to continue.

"Gussie isn’t my son. She is an amalgamation of several people – my daughter, my grand-daughter, my son and me – and she is mostly herself, an odd, funny bookish child, eccentric and thoughtful – a one off, as Nathan was.

"But she is also the embodiment of many children who bravely find a way to live through health and emotional problems.

"My son knew that even with a successful transplant, in those days he would only have had a few more years. But he was so happy to have been given that chance.

"I think that is why I write about Gussie – to make people see the importance of being an organ donor."

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Publication date

30th November 1999




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