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Book Review

This Christian adventure book (with an element of science fiction) is the first in "The Elijah Project" series by Bill Myers (with James Riordan), published by Zonderkidz.

On the Run is written for kids ages 9 to 12. The age range reflects readability and not necessarily content appropriateness.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

The Dawkins are a family on the run, pulling up roots four times in six years. Elijah Dawkins, an inexplicably silent 6-year-old, was born with a supernatural ability to perform miracles and thus becomes the target of three thugs from an evil organization pursuing his family in order to catch him. Acting as decoys, Elijah's parents flee home when the criminals are closing in and the children are away. As they lead the thugs away from their home, they hope their kids will figure out what's going on and make their own escape from the trio of bumbling bad guys. The children elude the thugs for a time, but later they are lured into a trap set by the evil Shadow Man because their parents are used as bait. This is where the authors abruptly end the story.

Christian Beliefs

The parents always include Bible verses in notes to their children; the verses later serve as comfort. Zach, Piper and Mom pray during tense moments. The reader wonders whether Elijah is meant to parallel the life of Jesus when Elijah brings to life a dead dog, heals an injured girl and multiplies hamburgers and fries. Mom recalls when she was pregnant with Elijah. A crazy man foretells the amazing things Elijah will do one day and the Bible talks about him. From time to time, an unknown old man (somewhat of a guardian angel) appears from nowhere and helps the children.

Other Belief Systems


Authority Roles

In the absence of parents, 16-year-old Zach, the oldest, is the least responsible and often makes bad decisions. His 13-year-old sister, Piper, is the smart, tough, responsible one who looks out for the welfare of the family, especially Elijah. Mom and Dad offer them no explanations about why they suddenly relocate the family, though as a maturing teen, Piper realizes a connection between their sudden relocations and Elijah.


A thug totes a gun. One scene describes how he shoots off the head of a toy dog to silence its mechanical bark. The evil, hissing Shadow Man shrieks and throws Dad across the room. Later, Shadow Man's fingers wrap around Mom's head (a mind control method). Her eyes shudder and she collapses.



Discussion Topics

Get free discussion questions for this book and others, at ThrivingFamily.com/discuss-books.

Additional Comments/Notes

You can request a review of a title you can't find at reviewrequests@family.org.

For additional parenting resources, download a free issue of Thriving Family, a marriage and parenting magazine published by Focus on the Family, at ThrivingFamily.com/magazine.

Book reviews cover the content, themes and worldviews of fiction books, not their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. The inclusion of a book's review does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.

Episode Reviews

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