Blog Tour Review: The Art of Running Away by Sabrina Kleckner

Rating: 4 out of 5.

An MG book that is both inclusive and incredibly valuable for teaching children (and adults) about allyship.

Thank you so much to TBR and Beyond and Sabrina Kleckner for allowing me to be part of this experience and also providing me with a complimentary ARC and media kit!

Book Information

Genre: MG Contemporary
Publishing Date: November 16, 2021

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.

Content and Trigger Warnings

For a list of warnings, tropes, and representation for this book, check out its page on BookTriggerWarnings.com.

About the Author

Sabrina Kleckner is the author of THE ART OF RUNNING AWAY, a middle grade contemporary novel about family and identity. She began writing at the age of twelve, and is grateful to not be debuting with the angsty assassin book she toiled over in her teens. When she is not writing, she can be found teaching ESL or gushing about her three cats to anyone who will listen.

Review (no spoilers)

If you’d like to follow along with the rest of the tour, you can find the tour schedule here.

The last tour that I did for TBR and Beyond was for The Night When No One Had Sex by Kalena Miller, an inclusive LGBTQ young adult novel that included some wonderful coming-of-age stories as well as many educational/moral takeaways. This week, we have The Art of Running Away which is incredibly similar in theme to The Night When No One Had Sex, just for a younger audience.

This MG novel follows the story of 12 year old Maisie, a young girl whose parents ship her off to live with an aunt whom she’s never met before. When her estranged/runaway brother shows up at her aunt’s house and offers her a chance to finally get to know him after 6 long years of silence, Maisie decides to join him and his roommates in their London flat for the summer. What follows is a heartfelt and enlightening coming-of-age story where Maisie not only learns how to be a better person to her family and friends, but also what it means to be an ally.

Though this book is written for a younger audience, I enjoyed it quite a lot. While it definitely presents itself as an MG novel, there are many lessons that readers of any age will learn from in this book. At times it can come off as a little preachy, but the messages provided through this novel are invaluable. It highlights important issues about homophobia, harmful inaction/action, allyship, trust, and respect.

One of the things this book doesn’t shy away from (and I think that made it all the more powerful) was the idea that real life is not clean cut. The relationships in this book are messy. There are times where they’re uplifting and loving, and there are times where they’re toxic and traumatizing. Parents often try to shield their children from these raw depictions of real life, but children experience these dynamics every single day. We shouldn’t pretend they don’t exist. That type of apathy serves no one.

The Art of Running Away is a powerful MG contemporary that I would definitely recommend to anyone who is interested in reading it. It comes out tomorrow, so don’t forget to grab your copy!

3 thoughts on “Blog Tour Review: The Art of Running Away by Sabrina Kleckner

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