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Born To Run [Paperback]

Michael Morpurgo
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (138 customer reviews)
RRP: £6.99
Price: £4.70 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Book Description

2 Jun 2008 0007230591 978-0007230594

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?

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks (2 Jun 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007230591
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007230594
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (138 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 10,981 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Multi-award winning author, Michael Morpurgo, is one of Britain's best-loved writers for children and has won many prizes, including the Smarties Prize, The Writers Guild Award and the Blue Peter Book Award for his recent novel, Private Peaceful, which has also had two successful runs as a play devised by Bristol Old Vic. From 2003 to 2005 he was the Children's Laureate, a role which took him all over the UK to promote literacy and reading, and in 2005 he was named the Booksellers Association Author of the Year.

Product Description


Praise for Born to Run:

“Pitch perfect… this hardened book reviewer kept having to wipe away the tears” Daily Mail

Praise for The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips:

"…a succinctly engaging tear-jerker, it is also full of happiness and affection and has a joyful ending… It is also about people who care enough to look after each other, offering a lesson in life as well as history. Sunday Times, Children's Book of the Week

"From the first sentence of a Michael Morpurgo book, you know you are in the hands of a natural storyteller." Guardian

"As always, Morpurgo writes with solid confidence in a voice that's gentle yet spellbinding." Evening Standard

"Classic Morpurgo brilliance" Bookseller's choice, Publishing News

"…Michael Morpurgo weaves a touching tale that's full of surprises. A master storyteller at his best." Funday Times

From the Author

Dear Reader,

Some ten years ago we went to a rescue centre looking for a dog and came away with a lurcher puppy. We called her Bercelet. I remember looking into the cages and wondering where all these dogs had come from, whose lives they had been part of. All sorts of questions came at once into my head. Had the owner died? Were the dogs abandoned perhaps, or neglected or abused? What were the lives behind their eyes? Anyway Bercelet stayed with us and became one of the family, and when she died three years ago it was devastating for all of us.

When Bercelet ran she ran like a greyhound. We simply loved standing there watching her. She seemed at her happiest at full stretch. She was very gentle and calm in the house, very attached to us and reliant on us for reassurance and affection. The more I heard of whippets and greyhounds and lurchers, the more I realised that they all seemed to be like this, very trusting and loving.

Then I read an article in a Sunday newspaper about what had happened to some greyhounds when they were no longer any use for racing. Of course many ex-racing greyhounds end up in rescue centres and find good homes, but the newspaper article wasn't about the lucky ones. It seems that some 10,000 greyhounds have been shot and buried in fields over a period of about fifty years or so. Such callous cruelty on such a massive scale angered me greatly. The more I thought about it the more I wanted to write the life story of a greyhound. And this is what I've done.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good tale, sad ending 22 Jun 2010
By Bezza
This is a really good yarn and well written, but be careful: there are some seriously dark moments in the narrative and the ending left my young son in floods of tears. My fault. I should have read ahead and invented my own happy ending in advance. The style of the telling is simple and easy for a younger child to follow, but some of the subject matter really makes this more suitable for a child of at least 10+. It would have been helpful to have some intimation of the weight of the areas treated by MM on the back cover. But this takes nothing away from the book itself. It is a very good read and is recommended, with caveats for those easily given to tears. You will shed some if you read this.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A modern day "Black Beauty" 6 Jan 2010
By Free Spirit VINE VOICE
My 11 year old son was given this book as a Christmas presant and he devoured it in less than a day. He was so emotionally moved by the story (and because the book was about a dog - my weakness) I just had to read it.

I also read the book in less than a day and although the ending was a happy one, it was bitter sweet!

The book reminds me of a modern day "Black Beauty" although about a dog rather than a horse. The same sad principals remain though... animals used for money, abducted for money, abused and unhappy endings. On a personal note, I think it is incredibly sad that over a hundred years after Black Beauty was written, the same sort of animal abuse and misuse goes on.

It was a lovely story, beautifully written and had some good illustrations. I would recommend this book very highly.
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57 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely a tail to remember! 21 Sep 2007
What a fabulous book. Bought it yesterday and finished it today!

A very well written older childrens book that goes all out to make sure kids understand the full ins and outs of dog ownership, dog rescue, opens their eyes to issues such as dog theft and tells of the horrors of "behind the scenes" in greyhound racing.

The funny, harrowing, sad, but ultimately heartwarming tale of Best Mate/BrightEyes/Paddywhack the Greyhound. HIGHLY recommended!
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Dogtastic! 15 Oct 2007
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Wow! What a riveting read, this was unputdownable. The emotions that you go through as you go on the journey together with this champion greyhound dog. The parts where 'Best mate' tells the story from his point of view were fantastic! I would highly reccomend this book for any dog lovers out there!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific read! 23 May 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I read this book with my nine-year-old son and we both absolutely loved it - it had us gripped from the first page to the end. A perfect read for dog lovers, yet it doesn't shy away from the realities of the way some people treat their animals. We now want to read all the Morpurgo books - what a fantastic writer he is.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A Kid's Review
Michael Morpugo is a fabulous author and 'Born to Run' is an excellent book. It all begins when Patrick is walking to school when he hears a squeaky noise coming from a bag floating in the canal. Patrick dived in and found 6 greyhound puppies. He kept one of the puppies and called it 'Best Mate'. Found out about Best Mate's exciting life with his 2 new owners. It's an interesting book because at the end you don't know if Best Mate, is going to get his first owner back. And so it is on my great books list. It's 5 stars from me!!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ABSOLUTELY WOOFTASTIC!!!!!!!!! BRILIIANT!!!!!!!! 9 April 2010
A Kid's Review
A story about a boy who loses the love of his life-his dog, his companion, his only friend. This courageous, funny, friendly dog will take you on an adventure beyond any dog's imagination. He will show you the world through the eyes of a dog, still loved by his best friend but alone to face the world himself. He goes through many homes, has many names and many friends. And many of these friends he loses. But they are never gone. They are still there in this dogs mind. This is an emotional and moving book. I am a 10-year-old girl and I absolutely loved it! I have read many of Michael Morpurgo's books-long and short- and I think he writes absolutely brilliantly. His stories are all different, some about people, animals and wars. You can feel the effort he has put into this book. I disagree that this book has a bad ending. I was hooked all the way through. This book is completely unputdownable. The ending is greaaattt! In Michael Morpurgo's books you can see the reality that is in it and he fantasizes it well. I particularly enjoyed this book because I love all animals and especially dogs. It tells the story of the pain, anger, sadness and loss dogs go through. I have a dog and she is cross whippet and full of energy. She is a great dog, lively and full of fun. She calms down when she is told and loves to be petted. She is a great companion. That is why I love this book and many others that Michael Morpurgo has written. I highly recommend this for dog-lovers, and anyone who enjoys Michael Morpurgo or a good riveting read. If you decide to read this book, please get out the tissues because buckets of tears will be wept and smiles will be smiled as Michael Morpurgo once again takes you through emotion and happiness in a world of reality mixed with fantasy. By: Lauren B Age: 10
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wufferful! 26 Jan 2008
`Born to Run' is written by my all time favourite author, Michael Morpurgo. Michael Morpurgo has written over a hundred books, short stories and musicals which are well loved by children and adults alike. My favourite book by him is `Little Foxes' but `Born to Run' is close behind.
This book starts with Patrick who has to walk past a brown sauce factory and one day on his way he hears a sound from within a plastic bin bag floating gently on top of the dirty stream...
It finishes with Best Mate meeting Patrick again after a long time but he has been replaced with another greyhound.
This story is brilliant! Michael Morpurgo has got a talent of writing stories that really touch hearts and this is one of them.
Rating and recommendation: 10000000000000/ 10 and recommended for all!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars born to run
I loved this book it was amazing! I recommend it to my sister and she loved it as well. Such a touching story. Must read this book if you haven't! 💗🐶
Published 10 days ago by Ellie Carter
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Heart wrenching story -excellent as usual Michael Morpurgo
Published 19 days ago by catherine jones
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Sad story, but kept kids quiet on car journey to France
Published 28 days ago by Helen
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great Author. My 11 year old son loves these books
Published 1 month ago by Jane Fletcher
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good purchase and extremely good price fast delivery
Published 1 month ago by MRS SM FLUDE
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
does exactly as it says on the tin
Published 1 month ago by S. I. Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent condition. Brilliant story
Prompt delivery, excellent condition.
Brilliant story, even if you don't own a grey.
Published 1 month ago by GiraffeJ
4.0 out of 5 stars VERY GOOD
I liked this book very much. It was interesting. Though when it got to the part that Joe kept him it was a bit boring. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Ana Graham
5.0 out of 5 stars I LOVE GREYHOUNDS!!!! Absolutely fantastic book
Already read to page 68 and I'm not much of a reader! Only got it yesterday it's absolutely fantastic and is the best book I have truly ever read x written by Roseanna age 12
Published 1 month ago by Georgina richards
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
grandson loved it
Published 2 months ago by Jean Burchell
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