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Autumn Bird & The Runaway

Written by Melanie Florence and Richard Scrimger
Published by Scholastic Canada Ltd.

Released March 22 at 1pm ET


Creative Activity — .doc | .pdf
Discussion Questions — .doc | .pdf
Inquiry Activity — .doc | .pdf
Word Scramble — .doc | .pdf


Two kids from different worlds form an unexpected friendship. 

Cody’s home life is a messy, too-often terrifying story of neglect and abuse. Cody himself is a smart kid, a survivor with a wicked sense of humour that helps him see past his circumstances and begin to try to get himself out.

Autumn is, quite literally, on the other side of the tracks from him. Her home life is loving and secure, and she is “in” with the popular girls at school, even if she has a secret life as a glasses-wearing, self-professed comic book nerd at home. And even if the pressure to fit in at school requires hours of time spent making herself look “perfect.”

Returning home from a movie one evening, Autumn comes across Cody, face down in the laneway behind her house. All Cody knows is that he can’t take another beating from his father like the one he just narrowly escaped. He can’t go home, but he doesn’t have anywhere else to go either. Autumn won’t turn her back on him, even if they never really were friends at school. She agrees to let him hide out in her dad’s art studio at night.

Over the next couple of days of Autumn sneaking Cody food and bandages, his story comes out. And so does hers.

Told in alternating narratives, Autumn Bird and the Runaway is a breathtaking collaboration by two of Canada’s finest writers of books for young readers. Infused with themes of identity, belonging and compassion, it’s a story that reminds us that we are all more than our circumstances, and we are all more connected than we think.


MELANIE FLORENCE is an award-winning writer of Cree and Scottish heritage based in Toronto, Ontario. She was close to her grandfather as a child, a relationship that sparked her interest in writing about Indigenous themes and characters. Her picture books Missing Nimâmâ and Stolen Words received award attention and stellar reviews.



Instagram: @mflowrites

Twitter/X: @mflowrites


Missing Nimâmâ, Sep-2021
Autumn Bird and the Runaway, Jul-2022
Kaiah’s Garden, Jan-2024


RICHARD SCRIMGER has written more than twenty books for children and adults, including Zomboy and Downside Up, many of which have won or been nominated for major awards and been published internationally. His novel Irresistible is part of the Almost Epic Squad series. Richard is also a popular presenter in schools. His latest novel, a collaboration with Melanie Florence, is Autumn Bird and the Runaway. Richard lives in Toronto, Ontario.



Instagram: @richardscrimger

Twitter/X: @richardscrimger


Irresistible (The Almost Epic Squad), Oct-2019
Autumn Bird and the Runaway, Jul-2022
At the Speed of Gus, Oct-2023