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We Run Tomorrow by Nat Amoore and Mike Barry

Title: We Run Tomorrow

Author: Nat Amoore and Mike Barry

Genre: Adventure

Publisher: Puffin

Published: 3rd May 2022

Format: Paperback

Pages: 336

Price: $16.99

Synopsis: You can run from your past, but the future is tomorrow . . .

Tonight, we’re gonna kidnap our best friend. And tomorrow? We run.

Sticks, Maki, Jed and Tommy live on the same street. But the adults around them are making decisions that could tear the four friends apart.

When they discover their favourite comic book series is being made into a blockbuster movie, they know what they have to do. Get to the audition. Get the parts. Stay together.

Bestselling author Nat Amoore joins forces with acclaimed graphic novelist Mike Barry to bring you a story of four kids – and four superheroes – who are taking their future into their own hands.

~*~

Best friends Sticks, Maki, Jed, and Tommy all live on Lockett Street – they’re the Lockett Squad and all love the Screen Savers comic book series, which gives them a place away from everything else in their lives to have fun. But one day, the adults in their lives start making decisions that could split the friends apart. Maki’s family moves every two years, and the time has come for him to move on. Jed, who has one prosthetic arm that he calls Lefty, is shoved into all kinds of after school activities by his parents, and now they want him to attend a boarding school. Sticks’ parents are preoccupied with getting her older brother to and from court appearances, and she’s often left alone, feeling like they’re more worried about Bryce than her. And Tommy, who lives with his grandmother, Bim, is set to leave Lockett Street under a shadow of tragedy. One day they find out that the Screen Savers is being made into a movie – and they come up with a plan to get from Sydney to the Gold Coast to audition – so they can get the parts and stay together.

What follows is a grand, rollicking adventure where the four friends find inventive ways to get to where they want to be, whilst dodging the police and everyone searching for them – but can they get to the auditions before everyone catches up with them? And even if they do – will they still be split up forever – faced with the prospect of never seeing each other again?

A brick wall with the words We Run across it behind four people running. Below it is a purple panel with the word tomorrow above four people running. We Run Tomorrow by Nat Amoore and Mike Barry.

Nat Amoore’s books are always a go-to for me, and I was thrilled when this one arrived. Nat has teamed up with a graphic novelist for this one, so there are comic panels throughout at strategic story points that illustrate what is happening to Sticks and her friends, and Mike Barry’s comics and illustrations perfectly complement Nat’s engaging and exciting story. I also loved the diversity of the friends – Tommy had Mauritian heritage, Sticks was a girl, Jed is disabled, and Maki is Japanese – and all are represented positively. I loved the way they and their experiences were all represented, as it gave an authentic feel to the story, even though it may have only shown one type of experience for each character, it allows readers to see a slice of how cultural background, family situations, or disability can define and impact a person.

I also loved the dedication the friends had to each other and Tommy – determined to stay together. It is the kind of friendship that we all need – a group of friends that will do anything for us and stand by our side no matter what, because the most important thing for these friends is sticking together through thick and thin.

The adventure they go on is also the kind of adventure that I imagine many kids would love to do themselves, and who wouldn’t want to audition for a movie or their favourite series? I can imagine many kids wanting to try this – but perhaps living vicariously through Nat’s characters is the best way to experience an adventure like this (unless your parents are taking you to an audition)! It’s filled with fun, and realistically imagines how kids might plan and plot something like this, and as always, Nat’s child characters always come across as fun and authentic, and full of life – sometimes they seem larger than life, but at the same time, grounded in a reality of the world of childhood that is whimsical and imaginative.

The story is such fun, and I love the determination of Sticks, Jed, Tommy, and Maki – it’s true dedication to a goal and what it means to be a friend – and I loved my time with the Lockett Squad. And I can’t wait to see what Nat comes up with next!

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