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Saving Grace

“I looked over toward the counter and saw a police officer standing there with his back to me. I couldn’t breathe and my feet seemed to be stuck to the ground.”

Fifteen year-old Evie has kidnapped the child her father made her give up for adoption. On the run with her reluctant boyfriend and a sick baby, Evie struggles to figure out what being a mother really means.

September 2006
Orca Book Publishers
ISBN 1-55143-508-X (paperback)
ISBN 1-55143-668-X (library binding)
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Available in paperback, library binding, and in Spanish as De nadie mas


“Ryan has created a wholly believable protagonist…Readers will sympathize with her plight even as they cringe at her series of bad choices.” School Library Journal

“Evie and Justin are like real teenagers with believable teen emotions and reactions.” CM Magazine

Anne Connor Brimer Children’s Literature Prize nominee

CCBC Our Choice

YALSA Quick Picks




I ran across the bare front yard—and what kind of home for a kid didn’t even have any grass—shoved the car seat onto the front seat of the truck and jumped in.

“Go!” I yelled at Justin.

He stared at me with his mouth hanging open all stupid. “Jesus, Evie,” he said. “What the hell did you do?”

“Will you just drive? C’mon. Move the goddamn truck. Go!”

“Go where?”

I leaned across the car seat and smacked his arm. “I don’t care. Just get us out of here now.”


Justin put the truck in gear and pulled away from the curb. I frigged with the seat belt, trying to thread it through the bottom part of the car seat. The baby was still asleep.

I got the belt buckled, sat back and fastened my own. We got to the stop sign where the road from the subdivision crossed the old highway. “That way,” I said, pointing to the right.

Justin looked over at me. Then he looked at the baby. But he turned and started up the old river road. “You said you just wanted to see her,” he said.

“So I lied.”

“Evie, you can’t just take someone else’s kid.”

I reached into the car seat and stroked the baby’s cheek with one finger. It was the softest thing I had ever felt. Bits of dark hair, the same color as mine, stuck out from under her pink hat. “I didn’t steal someone else’s kid, Justin,” I said. “She’s mine and I’m keeping her.”

Copyright © 2006 Darlene Ryan