Tally is eleven years old and she’s just like her friends. Well, sometimes she is. If she tries really hard to be. Because there’s something that makes Tally not the same as her friends. Something she can’t cover-up, no matter how hard she tries: Tally is autistic.

 

Tally’s autism means there are things that bother her even though she wishes they didn’t. It means that some people misunderstand, her and feel frustrated by her. People think that because Tally’s autistic, she doesn’t realise what they’re thinking, but Tally sees and hears – and notices – all of it. And, honestly? That’s not the easiest thing to live with.

AJ’s grandfather has always been the one to keep his unusual family together, so when he dies things start to unravel at the edges. AJ is worried about his parents but they don t really seem to notice. In order to deal with his grief and to keep his anxiety at bay, AJ does what he and his grandfather did best: running. Round and round the Olympic Park, aiming for the cross country trials, running to escape, AJ only seems to be heading ever closer to disaster. Running On Empty is a beautiful book about false starts and emotional journeys, with hope as the ultimate finishing line. From the author of Little Bits of Sky.