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Last Updated: Thursday October 18 2007 11:22 GMT

Book Review: Born to Run

Born to Run

Michael Morpurgo

Publication date

3 September 2007

The story

This is the tale of a dog, a beautiful fawn greyhound - called Best Mate, then Brighteyes and finally Paddywack - by the various people who look after him.

His life is full of adventures and he starts off as a puppy being rescued from a sinking sack in a canal by a young boy called Patrick.

But he's stolen from Patrick and finds himself racing for money, before his new teenager owner Suzie rescues him from what normally happens to greyhounds when they can't race - death.

But she takes him and herself into danger - and they are split up and the dog finds a third owner, Joe.

Joe's not young but he has promised his dying wife to save a local care home - and Paddywack has to help him protest in the freezing cold, day after day.

The characters

Although you think the story is about a dog, there's loads of great human characters!

Patrick gets bullied at school but after saving Best Mate and his four litter mates from death, he becomes a bit of a hero.

Suzie is having a hard time at home with her cruel step dad Craig. Brighteyes helps her and her mum become better friends.

And Joe is a really kind old man who misses his dead wife and needs Paddywack's company as much as Paddywack needs him.


This book has a great story which makes you want to read it and read it and read it.

It's written really clearly and although there are funny bits, there are loads of things in it that make you feel sad - and yes, you may need a box of tissues for those tears!

Any weak bits?

It's a bit strange the first time you read a chapter from Best Mate's view, but then why shouldn't he add to the story? After all, he's the main thread throughout the book!


This is a real page turner.

NR rating:


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Your Comments

"It's very exciting and I really like the greyhound called Best Mate. I think he's incredibly brave as he has to move from home to home. "

Georgina, 10, Salisbury, England

"I think this book is the best book Michael Morpurgo has written so far. It's one of those books that you get stuck into and find yourself unable to tear away from it."

Chloe, 11, Manchester, England

"This book brought tears to my eyes, it's so sad and good. It's like a mixture of a bit of comedy and a bit of real life."

Ronaldo, 12, Rio

"I love this book! It makes you feel like you are in the story and you just want to keep turning the pages. Morpurgo is my favourite writer. If you haven't yet read this book then I would definitely recommend it. 10/10!"

Shona, 12, Wolverhampton, England

"This is his best book so far! I have read most of his books and have some on CD. My fave before I read this was The White Horse Of Jenner And Other Stories. Now it's this. 10/10."

Nia, 10, Tunbridge, England

"It was really sad, but so good."

Anna, 10, Warford

"I really like Michael Morpurgo books! Once in primary school we studied one of his most famous books, The Butterfly Lion. I read any sort of book but his are the most enjoyable. I borrowed this book from my local library and didn't have time to finish it all, but up as far as I got, I'd rate it 10/10."

Katie, 10, Bridgend

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