Solace of the Road by Siobhan Dowd, Running on the Cracks by Julia Donaldson, The Ant Colony by Jenny Valentine - review - Times Online

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Amanda Craig reviews three for older readers....

Solace Of The Road by Siobhan Dowd

Dowd writes with economy, sympathy and an unflagging perceptiveness about the human condition; Holly's odyssey could have been far more harrowing than Dowd's first novel, about teen pregnancy, but becomes something unexpectedly life-affirming, wise and mature.

Running On The Cracks by Julia Donaldson

Well researched on both the Chinese community and runaway teenagers, it shows that Donaldson's flair for a good story extends way up the age-scale.

The Ant Colony by Jenny Valentine

Valentine writes so beautifully and so convincingly that you're instantly swept into the mystery of these people's lives: the bright but "home schooled" child living on Pringles, crotchety, clever old Isabel, Steve the landlord with his badly-peeled face, and 17-year-old Sam who has his own reasons for disappearing. The raffish house and Camden Town are drawn in all their squalor and vitality, but it's the people you care about...

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