MacKenzie's Last Run
by Gayle Rosengren
GENRE: Middle Grade fiction
Thirteen-year-old MacKenzie (Mac) Lawrence secretly blames himself for his father’s death. In his grief and guilt, he has pulled away from everyone, even his twin sister Tessa. When their mother announces her plans to remarry barely 18 months after Dad’s death, Mac is furious and runs away in an attempt to force her to break off the engagement.
Unfortunately, nothing goes as Mac plans. He ends up seriously injured, miles from home, unable to reach out for help, while clues he inadvertently left behind suggest he’s been kidnapped—possibly by Mom’s fiancé—and set his twin sister Tessa on a desperate search to find him. But she’d better hurry, because the clock is ticking, and Mac is running out of time.
Mac hooked his right arm around the slim trunk of a birch tree. One more break before going the rest of the way. He sagged against the tree and closed his eyes. His head was a snare drum, crashing, crashing. Something was definitely wrong. He was sick. Or the infection in his hand was worse than he’d thought. Or he was dehydrated. Maybe all of the above. Whatever. It was going to take everything he had to make it up this miserable hill.
He gritted his teeth and loosened his hold on the birch. Up and over, he told himself, pushing off from the trunk. But for every bit of progress he made, he slid back at least half of it. The ground was mud to the tops of his shoes—his good, expensive, running shoes. He tried to find toe holds in the muck but nothing was solid. The ground kept shifting under him, sucking at his feet.
His chest heaved. For the first time he worried that he might not be able to make it to the top. And it was so close. Just a few feet away. But he couldn’t get any traction, and he didn’t have the strength to keep climbing in place much longer.
Desperate, he grabbed onto a low shrub with his good hand and used it to haul himself a foot higher. That worked so well he looked for another shrub to grab onto. No shrub, but a sapling a few feet ahead that looked sturdy enough. He sprang forward and grasped a low branch. Straining hard, he hauled himself up. For one triumphant moment he could see over the hill. He glimpsed the road on the other side.
Then the branch snapped. He started to fall. Backwards. Head first.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
As a girl, books were among Gayle’s best friends and inspired her dream of writing for children someday. It was a dream that only grew stronger over the years. Gayle majored in Creative Writing in college. Her first book, What the Moon Said (Putnam 2014) was a Jr. Library Guild selection and CCBC title, and her second, Cold War on Maplewood Street (Putnam 2015) won the Tofte-Wright Award for Children’s Literature. She has worked as an advertising copywriter, a pre-school teacher, a youth services assistant in her local public library; and a research assistant in the American Girl library. Gayle is a lover of stories whether she’s writing them or reading them.
Visit her website to learn more about Gayle and her books. http://www.gaylerosengren.com
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE
Gayle Rosengren will be awarding a $100 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.