Run, Rebel


Amber feels free when she runs. It’s the only time that she escapes all the fears and responsibilities that overwhelm her. Furthermore, her running suggests a similar ability to Allie Read, Commonwealth champion, Olympic athlete. However, how can Amber encourage her parents to grant her permission to train toward the English Schools’ Athletic Championship? Not only is Amber hiding her father’s bullying, but there are other factors that tear at her family, that must remain hidden.

Manjeet Mann’s verse novel is savage, raw and wonderful. We burn for Amber’s situation so that she gets the chance she deserves, from her friends and teachers, but most of all from her family. Yet how can she stand up for herself, when her mother is overshadowed and beaten, and her sister gone from the family? Is there a chink of resistance or rebellion anywhere?

Run, Rebel gives Amber a voice, but Manjeet Mann goes further, in offering her mother a first chance to speak, it seems, and thereafter, Ruby, Amber’s sister. What a considered, necessary and superb story. Bookwagon recommends this story highly to its older readers, including adults and teachers.

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Run, Rebel

Manjeet Mann

(Penguin Random House)

Amber is held captive by her family, her circumstances and her terror. How can she find inspiration in Mr History Jones’ stories of rebellion, and thereafter Miss Sutton’s training for the English Schools’ Athletics’ Championship? Is it possible that Amber might Run, Rebel?
It seems it wasn’t possible for Ruby, Amber’s sister. Furthermore, Ruby’s desertion of the family has left the two estranged. Moreover, Amber feels exposed so that she cannot escape her father’s gaze, from his early morning chi, to the spies who seem to seek her out when she’s with her friends, furtively. Thereafter, Amber is torn in knots by Tara, with her sage candles and wise words, and David, who makes her skin tingle and heart ache. Then there’s Gemma Griffin, who ‘thinks she’s all that‘. It seems as though Amber’s head will break with all she bears. However, nothing is as bad for her as it is for her mother, it seems.
Run, Rebel is Manjeet Mann’s explosive and brilliant verse novel of a girl caught between two worlds. Not only is she dealing with the threat of Behzti, but also she is hiding her family’s appalling poverty, her father’s shame and then her own limitations. How can Amber escape from this captivity of poverty, fear, tradition, illiteracy and thereafter break free to run? Amber has so much life and breath and energy. Thereafter, she deserves this chance. Bookwagon suggests that you draw breath, and take Amber on for this girl deserves our deepest sympathy, understanding and will to break free. What a stirring, brilliant and wonderful novel!


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