Born to Run, Paperback Book
4 out of 5 (1 rating)


Joy and heartbreak combine in this bittersweet tale of a champion greyhound's journey through life - and from owner to owner..."The sack wasn't just drifting gently along like everything else, it was turning of its own accord.

There was definitely something inside it, struggling against the side of the plastic bag, kicking at it, squeaking and squealing in terror.

He had no idea what it might be, only that it was alive and in danger of drowning."When Patrick saves a litter of greyhound puppies from the canal, he can't bear to hand them all over to the RSPCA.

He pleads with his parents: couldn't he just keep one of them?

But nothing will convince them and Patrick cries himself to sleep - only to be woken by a greyhound puppy licking his face!Patrick christens his puppy Best Mate, and that's what he becomes.

Patrick's favourite thing is to watch Best Mate running at full stretch on the heath, a speeding bullet, a cheetah-dog.

Until one day Best Mate is kidnapped by a greyhound trainer, and begins a new life as a champion race dog.

Suzie, the greyhound trainer's step-daughter, loves Best Mate on first sight and gives him a new name, Bright Eyes.

But what will happen when he can't run any more?


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 240 pages, 50 b/w illus
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: General
  • ISBN: 9780007230594

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Michael Morpurgo's BORN TO RUN is a sweetly moving tale of a greyhound and his three different "lives" and the three people who love him - a little boy, a teenage girl and an old widower. It's a book for kids, probably in the 9 to 12 age group, and as such is a moving and beautifully written little book. And children will appreciate the simple black and white illustrations by Michael Foreman scattered througout the narrative. The voice of the story alternates from a third person omniscient narrator and the thoughts and 'voice' of the dog. I wouldn't call this device entirely successful, but it works reasonably well, despite the somewhat awkward 'humanizing' of the canine experience. Kids will appreciate the insights into other people's lives shown here, and may learn something from the dysfunctional, broken family life of the teen girl Becky; the cruelties often associated with dog racing; and the loneliness that older people can often feel.I'm an old guy, more than fifty years removed from this book's target audience, but I liked it. It was a quick and enjoyable read and I'd recommend it highly to the pre-teen reading audience.

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