MacKenzie’s Last Run | Dedicated Review

Book Review of MacKenzie’s Last Run
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The Children’s Book Review

MacKenzie's Last Run: Book Cover

Written by Gayle Rosengren

Ages 11+ | 235 Pages

Publisher: Three Towers Press | ISBN-13: 9781595989048

What to Expect: Family, Grief, Loss, Missing Persons, References to Gun Violence

Nothing has been the same since Mac’s dad died. He and Tessa, his twin, barely speak. His mom seems to care more about her new boyfriend than her children’s grief. But none of that is as bad as the crushing guilt Mac is hiding, knowing it’s his fault his father got killed. Mac’s been pulling away from his family for a while.

It’s not until his mother announces her engagement that he decides to run away. Just a few days – just long enough to make his mom break things off and care about him again. Unfortunately, nothing goes as planned. With his fingers cut and infected, a broken ankle, and no cell phone, suddenly Mac finds that his protest has morphed into a real crisis. Now it’s up to Tessa to use her instincts and find him … before it’s too late.

Written from the alternating perspectives of the twin protagonists, MacKenzie’s Last Run is fast-paced, emotionally hard-hitting, and impossible to put down until the last page. The characters are real and relatable, and their grief, anger, regret, and love for one another invite readers to think deeply about what it means to be a family. Despite the challenging themes of the storyline, the novel is uplifting, with perseverance and honesty as key themes throughout the narrative. At the same time, the story is grippingly suspenseful, with twists sure to keep even the most reluctant of readers interested. 

Overall, MacKenzie’s Last Run is well-written, thought-provoking, and well-worth reading.  

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Gayle Rosengren: Author Headshot

About the Author

Gayle Rosengren grew up in Chicago, majored in creative writing in college, and worked for several years in the teen services department of her local library. She especially loved sharing her passion for reading, turning reluctant readers into enthusiastic ones by introducing each one to just the right book. Non-fiction or fiction. Mysteries, suspense, humor, historical, or―her particular favorite―survival stories, wherein the main character must call on every ounce of their strength to save themselves in a life-threatening situation.

Given how much she enjoys reading survival stories, it was probably just a matter of time before she wrote one. MacKenzie’s Last Run is that story.

For more information, visit

Read our exclusive interview: Gayle Rosengren Discusses MacKenzie’s Last Run

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September 1, 2022 at 12:36PM Dr. Jen Harrison