On the loose
Szabadlabon (On the loose) is an extremely poignant story for anyone over 14 years of age. The novel deals with honesty, partnership, and the importance of communication.
Danny enjoys hitting the road, being responsible for himself, and feeling like he is managing his own life. But it soon becomes clear that this isn’t as idyllic and fun as it seemed initially. The writer has wisely tried to make sure Danny’s adventure does not seem like a suitable way out of a difficult situation. With each day passing, he has to deal with more and more serious problems, from which sometimes he is saved only by chance.
Although it’s only Danny who is traveling, this story is not just about his journey. In her soul, his hard-working, hard-fought, tireless, struggling mother also embarks on a journey into her own painful past in the hopes of making sense of everything that pushed their lives onto such an unpredictable track. Since Danny’s birth, Ildikó has been nothing but a responsible parent, but in the meantime she has forgotten that her son is growing up. He has his own opinions, ideas, desires, and goals, and none of them should go unnoticed.
It is no less of a problem for Danny to accept and love himself in his wheelchair than for his mother to realize that there are occasional hazards on the path to independence.
Ágnes Mészöly is a writer, poet, and educator.
HUBBY’s jury – the Hungarian section of IBBY – chose her for Children’s Author of the Year for 2018.