It Was September When We Ran Away the First Time

It Was September When We Ran Away the First Time

For Ages: 8 - 12
It's September, the first week of school at John Muir Junior High School, and Paolo has a lot on his mind. He's thinking about finding a place of his own with his brother Georgie and his cousin Billy, running away part-time -- which means they are running away, but still come back home to eat and sleep and read the paper. He's thinking about the upcoming Halloween/All Saints' Day/Mexican Day of the Dead/Chinese Lantern Night carnival, and what booth he, Georgie, and Billy would like to man. He's thinking about Communism and the atom bomb, just like everyone else in Orange Grove, California, in 1951. But most of all, he's thinking about Billy and Veronica, a Chinese girl in his class, who have both become victims of some ofthe community's ignorant but deep-seated ideas about who should be hanging out with whom. And it's this last thought that Paolo, even with Georgie and Billy's help, can't quite figure out.

Suddenly, the boys have a real reason to be running away, and maybe not just part-time.
Choose a format:
  • Atheneum Books for Young Readers | 
  • 240 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781416938101 | 
  • October 2012 | 
  • Grades 3 - 7
List Price $11.99
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About the Author

D. James Smith
Photograph courtesy of the author

D. James Smith

D. James Smith lives in California, where he studied with poet Philip Levine. A recipient of a fellowship in creative writing from the National Endowment for the Arts, his work appears frequently in literary magazines, most recently, The Amherst Review, New Millennium Writings, the Notre Dame Review, and Stand. His previous books include a collection of poems, Prayers for the Dead Ventriloquist, and an adult novel, My Brother's Passion.

His novels for younger readers are Fast Company and his first book about Paolo and friends, The Boys of San Joaquin.




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