I just started Blink & Caution, by Tim Wynne-Jones, out this month from Candlewick. The first two chapters introduce us to Blink, a teen runaway who's learned how to use a stolen disguise as his ticket to a few days' worth of fancy-schmancy hotel breakfasts.
Smells like one of my old favorites.
I know this YA novel, with its bullet-holed cover (textured even on the ARC!), will be a very different experience from E. L. Konigsburg's comfy From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. But they have at least one thing in common in their appeal. Their main characters (and each novel needs two--a solitary runaway is far less interesting than a runaway relationship) aren't supposed to be able to manage on their own. But they do, at least for now. It's part creativity, part observation, and part luck, and young readers can imagine themselves mustering enough of all of those that they could do it, too.
In case anyone particularly young is reading this, I should be clear that I think running away from home is probably a bad idea. But reading about it and thinking of yourself as independent enough to maybe, maybe manage it? Well, that's probably healthy.