The Driftless Area is the story of Pierre Hunter, a 24 year old who lives his life as he sees fit. From his bartending job to his cross country trek to do what he believes is right, Pierre is part of his midwest town and at the same time, not a part of it. When he takes $77,000 from a thief, what follows is a complex journey involving theft, murder, friendship, and love that is not what it seems.
Runaway introduces readers to Holly, a twelve year old, who leaves her fifth foster family in search of a better life. The grim reality of abusive foster homes and what a twelve-year old does to survive living on her own are are portrayed. Day to day living and surviving are depicted with Holly's humor and zest for life, as well as her acceptance of what that life has become. Told through journal entries, the journal was part of an english assignment, Holly is truthful and insightful. While rooting for this plucky heroine to find happiness, the ending was a bit to pat for the circumstances portrayed.
Both of these titles are slated for publication in September 2006. Professional reviews from Booklist and Publishers Weekly are already available for The Driftless Area (see Amazon links above) but not for Runaway.