Jill Hucklesby is a young-adult author who has won awards for her work. I Can Fly is her new book about running away and finding your way back, even if home is something that scares you. When Calypso Summer, the narrator, learns more about herself and true friendship, she also learns some hard truths about her world.
“Books have always been my way out of difficult situations,” says Jill, who is also a screenwriter for children.
“I like stories that have a filmic feel to them. Almost all of my top 10 “running away” books have been turned into movies.”
When Jill isn’t writing her next book, Deeper Than Blue, she is working on a TV version of her first book, Deeper Than Blue.
Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
I love this book. I read it when I was 15 and studied it when I was 20. I go back to it every few years to read it again. Each time, the power, sadness, injustice, truth, and pure drama of it leave me in awe and awestruck. It was a brave story for its time, because it looked at sexual mores and double standards, and it raised questions about fate and human flaws. Finally, after many bad turns in her life, Tess is going on the run for killing the man who caused her so much pain. Her first real love, Angel Clare, comes back to her for a short time, but it ends at Stonehenge in a heartbreaking scene that will stay with you. Love that Hardy chose a dark, complicated ending, even though it’s painful.
A Room with a View by EM Forster
Lucy Honeychurch is one of the many Forster heroines who run away and find themselves. She does it with determination, humor, and single-mindedness, but it’s hard to pick one over the other because there are so many. For example, she is a young woman who leaves England and falls in love with Italy while on a trip. She then marries bohemian travel companion George Emerson and moves to Florence to start a new life with him. The story is both funny and brilliant. It’s a victory for passion over family and social rules.
The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis
The back of my wardrobe made me want to go to a dangerous and exciting place. The only way I could have gone to Narnia was if I had the chance. I would have looked for my mother, who had died and “gone away.” In the book, I was sure that if you believe in something enough, it will become real and happen. I can still feel the effects of it today, even though I don’t remember it. In the end, it gave me the courage to dream myself out of trouble and find safety in new worlds of words.
The Call of the Wild by Jack London
I’ve always been into animal stories. The Call of the Wild was a very moving book to read as a child. It talked about loss, cruelty, violence, loyalty, and love. People love Buck, a St. Bernard and sheepdog cross, at home. He is then stolen, taken to Alaska, trained to be a sled dog and sent back. He has to learn how to live in a group, and how to deal with cruel owners who come and go. Finally, when he finds kindness, it is snatched away from him. This is how it works: He has to pay back his last owner for killing him. He then runs into the wilderness with his pack of wolves. Whether you’re young or old, this is a gripping, heart-wrenching book that will stay with you for a long time to come.
The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford
Not so much a “running away” story, but a “running back” one. They are a golden retriever, a bullterrier, and a Siamese cat. They have to cross a part of Canada to get back together with their owners. instinct, guile and luck lead them on. Even though there are wild animals and many dangers, they make it home, having learned how to be loyal and love. They made me fall in love with retriever dogs. Each one has been saved, and we love them all.
Peter Pan by JM Barrie
Who doesn’t want to fly out of a window at some point? This wonderful, exciting story makes the idea seem possible and takes readers on a journey they will never forget. It’s a real classic with great characters. There is a crocodile that ticks that I like best. A poignant part of Peter Pan is that all proceeds go to Great Ormond Street Hospital indefinitely. I think it’s a great story.
The Wizard of Oz by L Frank Baum
First, I saw the movie, and then I begged for the book. I think it was the simplified version, not the original one, but it had great illustrations. Some of the time, Dorothy runs away from the Wicked Witch. She’s mostly following the yellow brick road, hoping to find a way home. I liked the Cowardly Lion and the Tin Man who stops when he’s sad. A trust lesson came from the fact that the Wizard is a small man with no real power. I like the part with the dog. And the red shoes with a lot of glitter were also very pretty. Was it all just a dream? Nooooooo!
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
In the end, I got 30 copies of this from fate. I had ordered my own book, Last Kiss of the Butterfly, from my book suppliers, but I got 30 copies of this by accident. So I read it and was engrossed in what I read. This is the story of Lily Owens, a teenager who runs away from her violent father in search of the truth about her mother, who died when she was very young. It’s set in the 1960s in South Carolina. : Lily starts a new life with the Boatwright sisters, a family that keeps bees. By finding love, painful truths are made less painful by them. I thought the ending for Lily was hopeful, which matched the political message.
Girl, Missing by Sophie McKenzie
A young relative of mine asked me to buy this book for her, and I read the first page and was hooked! I’m afraid my subconscious will steal ideas at random when I read other young adult books. It’s a great, fast-paced book that moves between the UK and the US, with a strong female protagonist called Lauren, a kind and sexy boyfriend-to-be, a lot of baddies, a mystery about identity, and a happy ending.
Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
People say this isn’t about running away, but having a dangerous adventure and then coming home. There are only a few books that have images and imagery I can’t get out of my head, and this is probably the most important one for characterisation. The mad tea party makes me think of a lot of family events. Let’s not go over there. Inspiring for a lifetime.