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Book Review

Running from Reality by Missy and Mia Robertson, with Jill Osborne, has been reviewed by Focus on the Family’s marriage and parenting magazine. It is the second book in the “Faithgirlz: Princess in Camo” series.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Twelve-year-old Allie Carroway stars with her extended family in the hit reality show “Carried Away with the Carroways.” Growing up on camera presents challenges and frustrations for Allie and her cousins Kendall, Ruby, Lola and Hunter, so they decide to go on strike. When Papaw Ray sees their protest signs and hears their complaints, he arranges a vacation for them to Los Angeles.

He makes them promise not to take any photos or share any trip details so they can experience total privacy for a change. Papaw even makes them exchange their smartphones for flip phones temporarily. Allie’s brother, Ryan, and his wife, Brittany, will meet them at the airport and be their hosts in California.

The kids stop at the airport McDonalds before boarding the plane. When a cute surfer dude doesn’t have enough money for his food, Allie hands him some change. He thanks Allie and gives her a paper bag before he disappears into the airport. On the plane, she discovers the bag contains a key and a headlamp with Matt 51415 written on the strap.

Ryan tells the kids they’ll all be staying at a fancy rental house in Hollywood. A mother-daughter movie star team once owned the home, located at 51415 Star Drive. Ryan warns the kids that a punk known as the Hollywoodlum has recently vandalized properties nearby.

The kids are surprised to see the Hollywood house number is the same as the one on Allie’s headlamp. They decide Matt 51415 may be a Bible verse and look it up. Matthew 5:14-15 is a message from Jesus, urging His followers to shine their lights so others will see their good works and praise God.

Allie and the others enjoy sightseeing. When they hike to the Hollywood sign, Allie gives a Band-Aid to a little girl with a scraped knee. The girl tells Allie she’s praying for a miracle. Before Allie can ask questions, the girl’s dad comes to get her.

The kids read more about the deceased owners of their rented mansion: Abigail Fremont became a movie icon and had a daughter named Gabi. After Abigail’s husband died in a car crash, she and Gabi starred in films together. Allie finds Gabi’s journal, written when the girl was 12. Although it’s locked, Allie opens it with the key Surfer Boy left in her bag. As she pores over Gabi’s life story, she sees the girl’s struggles to live gracefully in the public eye are similar to her own. Gabi’s resolve to shine her light and honor God with her career inspires Allie.

The kids visit the Griffith Park Observatory, and Ryan and Allie watch a pendulum that mirrors the earth’s rotation. Ryan notes that if God can do a huge thing like make the earth turn, maybe there are many smaller, everyday miracles He is doing right then that they don’t notice.

Allie sees the girl from the Hollywood sign a few minutes later. Her name is Angela, and she’s gotten separated from her family. Angela holds a suitcase Allie recognizes from her airplane ride. Angela says a man gave it to her and told her it contained everything she needed.

Allie discovers Angela and her parents are sleeping in their car because they can’t afford to fix a flat tire. Angela’s mother is also ready to give birth. When the girls find Angela’s parents, Allie uses her key to open the suitcase. It contains gifts, including baby items and money to fix the tire.

Allie then alerts her cousins about something she’s overheard: The Hollywoodlum is planning to hit the house where they’re staying. Allie and her cousins hide, corner him and turn him over to the police.

Back home in Louisiana, Allie feels content. She realizes God has a purpose for her and wants her to use her fame to light the world for Him. She receives a note from the Surfer Dude, who apologizes for giving her the strange items. He had meant to give her a blessing bag, as he’d made a number of them for the missions trip he was attending.

Instead, he accidentally gave her an old sack of things he’d collected several years earlier at his grandmother’s house. He signs his name Nathan Fremont, and Allie knows he was related to Gabi. She acknowledges, again, how God works everything out for His purposes.

Christian Beliefs

Allie learns that movie stars Abigail and Gabi were Christians. Gabi often mentions her faith in her journal entries. Allie receives messages from her family members and other sources urging her to be a light to the world for God’s glory. Several Bible verses, including Matthew 5:14-15, appear in the text.

Other Belief Systems


Authority Roles

Allie’s adult family members are loving and supportive. Her parents pray about selling the house. Papaw refreshes Allie and her cousins by providing time away from TV life. He urges her to remember God wants her to shine her light for others to see. Allie’s brother, Ryan, and sister-in-law, Brittany, take care of the kids and show them around in California. Ryan points out that God does everyday miracles we often fail to recognize.





Discussion Topics

Get free discussion questions for this book and others, at FocusOnTheFamily.com/discuss-books.

Additional Comments/Notes

Authors: Co-authors Missy and Mia Robinson were real-life reality TV stars in the series “Duck Dynasty.”

You can request a review of a title you can't find at reviewrequests@family.org.

Book reviews cover the content, themes and worldviews of fiction books, not their literary merit, and equip parents to decide whether a book is appropriate for their children. The inclusion of a book's review does not constitute an endorsement by Focus on the Family.

Episode Reviews



Readability Age Range

9 to 13


Missy and Mia Robertson, with Jill Osborne






Record Label



Zonderkidz, a trademark of Zondervan


On Video

Year Published





We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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