Runaways, Vol 1.

cover image for Runaways, Vol 1Vaughan, Brian K. (2005) Runaways, Vol 1. New York, NY: Marvel

Plot Summary:

Alex, Gertrude, Chase, Karolina, Molly, and Nico couldn’t care less about each others existence, but their parents are involved in the same charity, so every year they are stuck together for a whole evening while the grown-ups debate fundraisers and tax write-offs.  Then Alex suggests that they spy on their parents – it’s not like they have anything better to do, and six unlikely and underage heroes stumble onto the knowledge that their parents are super villains.

excerpt from Runaways, Vol 1Critical Evaluation:

I should probably make it clear up front that I adore this series to pieces – especially the first volume.  As if the premise itself wasn’t enough, Gertrude gets a dinosaur.  That speaks to her telepathically.  There is nothing about that that is not made of cool.  Runaways awesomeness doesn’t stop there, either. The characters have depth, are rendered engagingly and realistically, and there is enough variety between them for a large number of readers to strongly identify with one or several of them.  The plot moves along quickly with lots of twist and turns but never ties itself into knots.  The individual issues also each tell a complete chapter and yet add up to a coherent and meaty story.  Runaways is a must for any young adult collection.

Author Information:


Graphic Novel Series

Booktalking Ideas:

Runaways is one of the few graphic novels that you might be able to sell on the premise alone, minus any artwork as props (as nice as it is) which makes it an excellent choice for a booktalk.

Reading Level/Target Age:

5th grade/14-29

Possible Controversy:

Some parents might object to the story on the grounds that it casts the parents as evil super villains.  Also, there is the part where the teens, well, runaway. This should be a relatively easy challenge to defend against, however – and I am guessing most of the parents who would object are too busy objecting to books they find even more unsettling.

Reasons for Choosing This Title:

Did I mention that Gertrude has a dinosaur?


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