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 AwardsShortlisted 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