AJ's grandfather has always been the one to keep his unusual family together, so when he dies things start to unravel at the edges. Round and round the Olympic Park, aiming for the cross country trials, running to escape, AJ only seems to be heading ever closer to disaster.
AJ's grandfather has always been the one to keep his unusual family together, so when he dies things start to unravel at the edges. AJ is worried about his parents but they don't really seem to notice. In order to deal with his grief and to keep his anxiety at bay, AJ does what he and his grandfather did best: running. Round and round the Olympic Park, aiming for the cross country trials. Running to escape, AJ only seems to be heading ever closer to disaster.
Running On Empty is a beautiful book about false starts and emotional journeys, with hope as the ultimate finishing line.
From the author of Little Bits of Sky and Talking to the Moon
Cover illustration by Rob Biddulph.
Winner of the Student Vote, UKLA Book Award 2019
Highly Commended, UKLA Teachers Book Award 2019
Nominated for the 2019 CILIP Carnegie Medal
Shortlisted for the 2018 North Somerset Teachers' Book Awards
Shortlisted for the Little Rebels Award 2019
Shortlisted for the Warwickshire Book Award 2019
Shortlisted for the Tower Hamlets Book Award 2019
Lyrical, moving and realistic, SE Durrant's Running on Empty is about the struggle of an 11-year-old carer who is starting secondary school and wants to run like Usain Bolt. With a rich and diverse cast, it sings." - Sunday Times
"Running on Empty is one of the best children's novels of the year." - Express
"Beautiful writing about family, loss, dreams and small pleasures that packs a real emotional punch." - The Bookseller
"I absolutely love this book!...it's a light-hearted, tender book, as warm and funny as AJ himself." - Official Jacqueline Wilson Magazine
"Running on Empty is a deeply moving story of one young carer's struggle to keep his family together... It is beautifully written and thought provoking. A really special book." - North Somerset Teachers' Book Award
"AJ's situation is described with powerful realism, and yet with the very lightest of touches. He is essentially a young carer, whose parents have learning difficulties, but there is never a sniff of a stereotype or call for pity. Durrant makes important points about avoiding assumptions with huge subtlety, sensitivity and humour. Convincing, uplifting and immensely readable." - BookTrust
About the Author
S.E. Durrant has wanted to be a writer since she was a child and has always squeezed writing in around the edges of her life. She spent her childhood in Scotland before moving to Leicestershire when she was twelve. She studied Fine Art (painting) and then travelled widely before settling in south London. She has taken on many jobs including working on a stall at Covent Garden market, selling paintings in Venice and teaching art to children. For many years she worked on research bids at the University of London. She now lives in Brighton with her partner and two teenage children, all of whom are taller than she is.