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‘Born to Run,’ A Story For Kids About A Dog With Three Lives

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Mar 17, 2016

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My brother had been reluctantly reading this story for kids for a month. Everyone could tell that he didn’t like it. But my mom kept pushing him and pushing him to read it. Like all moms do, even with the smallest of things, she gave him a speech about determination and perseverance. It took all my strength to hold in my laughter. Eventually, she gave up. My delighted brother tossed the book on his bookshelf.

Here is when my story starts.

Born To Run, Michael Morpurgo, books, reviews, story for kids, coverAbout a week ago, I found Michael Morpurgo’s Born to Run on my desk. The same story for kids that my brother could not read over the course of an entire month. My mother walked into our room and asked me just to check out the book, maybe even read it. She left me there, staring at it. I really wanted to tell her no, maybe some other time. But instead I reluctantly decided to give the book a try.

Twelve hours later, the book was finished.

Born to Run is a fictional story about on a dog who has many incredible and fascinating lives. His three lives comprise being a pet, a greyhound racer and, finally, a mental and physical supporter. He starts off as a best mate to a boy named Patrick, and Best Mate becomes the dog’s name. Patrick rescues Best Mate as a pup, risking his life to jump into the canal and save the dog and his siblings. Patrick is allowed to keep one of them as a pet. Patrick takes great care of his greyhound, and he and Best Mate go to the park everyday. One day, at the park, Patrick tells Best Mate to run around like he usual, but Best Mate is reluctant. When Patrick urges him, Best Mate finally runs beyond Patrick’s sight to take a lap around the park, but he’s stolen by Craig, an bad man who runs dog races. Patrick and his parents search all around the park, but can’t find Best Mate. Eventually, they give up, and Patrick has the feeling that he will never see Best Mate again.

In the dog’s next life, Becky, Craig’s stepdaughter, is interrupted by the sound of a loud van outside her house. She races outside to find a beautiful dog being dragged by a chain. She follows the dog into a racing kennel and tries to introduce him to the other dogs, especially her favorite dog, Alfie, who is king of the track — unbeatable and unstoppable, always the favored to win. Becky is glad of this; every now and then, a dog that has stopped winning is taken from the kennel and thrown into the van, never to be seen again. Becky’s mom promises her these dogs go to safe places, but Becky is always skeptical about it.

After introducing Alfie to Best Mate, whom she names Brighteyes, the dogs are inseparable. They become the newest sensation together, always placing either first and second or second and first. But no one can stay golden forever. In one race, Alfie collapses. Brighteyes stops in his tracks. A couple hours later, Becky and Brighteyes learn Alfie will never be able to race again. That’s when Becky hears the van.

Becky and Brighteyes follow the van secretly until it stops. That’s when they hear a BANG! and see Alfie’s body crumple to the floor. Blood is pouring out of him. Unable to resist her tears, Becky and Brighteyes run away from home and the stepfather she hates and blames for Alfie’s death. Their first night on the street, Becky and Brighteyes become separated, and the dog starts his third life with another owner.

As Paddywack, Brighteyes becomes a hero. He and his new owner, Joe, work together to save Fairlawns Nursing Home from closing. Joe has a great reason to save the home: His late wife was nursed in that home for more than five years and loved it there. Their adventure to keep the nursing home open brings Joe and Paddywack closer. When they succeed, they plan another adventure touring the country, selling Joe’s baked goods. But just as they are about to set off on Joe’s boat, Paddywack feels something familiar. He feels like he has been here before…. but to say more would ruin the ending!

I definitely felt like this book was worth reading. Once again, my mom prevails! This book had a mix of suspense as well as some parts that will get you teary-eyed. I thoroughly enjoyed it and recommend it to anyone looking for a good story for kids!

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Written By Kavish Hajarnavis

Kavish Hajarnavis is twelve years old and a student in grade 7.  He resides in Mumbai with his parents and two younger siblings, who worship the ground that he walks on (provided he has bribed them). Kavish enjoys listening to music that his parents cannot relate to, travelling, playing squash and other sports, and writing.

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