The Runner

For Ages: 12 and up
  • reading group guide
  • customer reviews
You can run from something, or toward something—but can you do both at the same time? Book four in the Newbery-winning cycle from Cynthia Voigt is repackaged with a fresh new look.

Bullet Tillerman runs. He runs to escape the criticism of his harsh, unforgiving father. He runs to numb the pain of his mother’s inability to express her love. He is the star of the school track team, but he isn’t a team man and doesn’t want to be. Bullet runs for himself.
So Bullet doesn’t understand why he’s been asked to train a new team member, and he’s not looking forward to the task. But in coaching Tamer Shipp, Bullet learns some things about himself—who he is, and who he can perhaps become.
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Book Details:
  • Atheneum Books for Young Readers | 
  • 240 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781442450660 | 
  • July 2012 | 
  • Grades 7 and up
List Price $21.99

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Reading Group Guide

A Reading Group Guide to

The Tillerman Cycle
By Cynthia Voigt

About the Books

The four Tillerman children—Dicey, James, Maybeth, and Sammy—have always presented a unified front to the world in spite of the troubles they encounter. Even when they are abandoned by their emotionally ill mother, they find strength in each other as they search desperately for a place to call home. As they build a new life with their grandmother, however, they must learn how to remain a close-knit unit under very different circumstances than those they had previously known. And as they grow up and begin to follow their own separate dreams, it becomes more and more difficult to remember just how important family can be. Cynthia Voigt's moving Tillerman books—which trace journeys both physical and emotional—have garnered many honors, including a Newbery Medal for Dicey’s Song and a Newbery Honor for A Solitary Blue.

Discussion Topics

1. When their mother leaves, Dicey takes responsibility for the younger children and becomes, in effect, the head of their family. How does she feel about having this much responsibility? In what ways is she prepared for this change, and in what ways is it apparent that she is still a child herself? How does Dicey’s role within the family change as the children move in with their grandmother and get older?

2. James is con see more

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