Runaway Blues is a beautiful book that deals with a difficult subject, Alzheimer’s. We follow Caleb and his grandfather (referred to as Papa) on their journey to Arkansas. Caleb lives in Virginia with his mom and visits Papa often in a nursing home.
When we first meet Papa we learn that he loves to play blues, rather grumpy, and suffers from memory loss. Caleb is rather shy, has a strict mom, and would like to learn guitar. One day Papa won’t stop talking about an old family heirloom, Robert Johnson’s harmonica. Johnson was a blues player and taught someone in the family music. It was then passed down, but a different part of the family has it. Papa has a wicked idea and plans to escape with Caleb wanting to find it. They wind up catching a bus to Arkansas. Their journey is full of adventure and sometimes danger, they end up in new places, panhandle, and discovering amazing things.
I enjoyed reading this book, the creative characters, and a large amount of musical influence. The novel was sad at times when Papa forgets Caleb for a few minutes due to his memory loss. Otherwise, it was an exciting, richly embellished story that made a beautiful connection between family and music. I would recommend this novel to kids who love music and who are eleven and older.
|Page Count||177 pages|
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