Nowhere to Run is a compelling story that will engage urban youth, boys and girls alike. Calvin’s desire to be everyone’s friend, and his having to finally decide what is best for him will resonate with many young people. … It is a page turner and the characters are drawn in a fine, subtle and credible fashion. Many students will see parts of themselves in Calvin’s life… The book takes a positive view of the great potential that can be realized by young people. Against all odds, the reader is led to believe that Calvin prevails.
As a former Chair of the English Department of Washington DC’s largest public high school, … I can surely predict that many teenagers will enjoy this story. There are thousands of kids and teachers who will grab Nowhere To Run by Claire Griffin.
Nowhere to Run gives us a few months of the life of an adolescent African-American boy in D.C. The situation is credible, the problem is real, the characters defy stereotypes and come to life, the dialogue is gritty, phrases often pop up that you want to write down, and—this was my favorite feature—the narrative treats the reader with respect and leaves judicious room for inferences. Also, as if the author accurately pictured her not-too-bookish audience, the chapters are not long, and end with … a powerful invitation to read on.
The writer is so much in control of her art that it is hard to believe she hasn’t published before in this genre.
Hobart and William Smith Colleges
The plot is compelling and well-paced. Young adult readers will easily identify with Calvin’s dilemma. Many of them have been faced with the choice Calvin is forced to make – between loyalty to a valued friend and staying “on track”. These defining aspects of adolescent development help give the story value and importance. Even the minor characters are complex, fully developed, and amplify the plot and theme in interesting ways.
Griffin has done a fine job of capturing the cultural mix of her Georgia Avenue setting. The dialogue is realistic and authentic.