The Runaway Friend

by Kathleen Ernst
Series: American Girl Mysteries #
179 pages, Mystery
Reviewed by Ariel_of_Narnia

A warm-hearted story lead by a sweet-hearted girl.


Kirsten Larson and her family have only been in Minnesota for a few weeks when the hired young man, Erik, suddenly disappears, causing a world of trouble for Kirsten's immediate and extended family. Kirsten wants to believe that Erik left for a legitimate reason, but it's not looking good for him.


The Larsons are family-knit, hospitable, and hard workers. When things go awry for them, everyone pitches in as they are able. Kirsten is friendly and responsible; she also wants to make her parents proud of her and does not like to see them struggle.

Spiritual Content

A Swedish hymn is sung. Uncle Olav reads aloud from a Bible. God's name is said once. Kirsten's dad says "Lord help us..." (without addressing God) at one point.


A wagon is chased by a wolf. Another wolf reaches into an open window and touches Kirsten's arm, causing her to scream in fear.

Drug and Alcohol Content


Sexual Content


Crude or Profane Language or Content



Kirsten's friendly and helpful qualities are very commendable. Even though she experiences waves of doubt, she sticks to her original belief about her friend.

Fun Score: 5
Values Score: 5
Written for Age: 8-10

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