‘Born to Run’ tells of the adventures of a greyhound called Best Mate, and the characters he meets during his journey.
‘Born to Run’ tells of the adventures of Best Mate, a greyhound rescued as a puppy by a young boy called Patrick. The two are happy for a while, until one day Best Mate, who loves to run, is stolen. Everything changes for Best Mate, and his consequent journey makes up the rest of the story. Written mostly in third person, yet at times from the dog’s point of view, Morpurgo deals with issues of change, the relationship between man and dog and also touches on elderly rights and animal cruelty.
Throughout the book things are changing, Best Mate meets different characters and travels to different places. Alongside this an encouraging message for children is the theme of hope, and everything working out well in the end. At points in the book the characters Becky and Joe make a stand for the rights of animals and the elderly, instilling a sense of integrity and perseverance.
Accompanied with a few illustrations, ‘Born to Run’ would be suitable for older KS2 and KS3 children. Adults should be aware that animal abuse appears in the book but is not descriptive, the reader is aware of what has happened but not confronted with detail. Morgpurgo also draws attention to the ‘bad’ side of humanity, including a number of characters whose motives lie solely with themselves.
Throughout, the story insprires positivity. The reader cannot help but become involved, and root for the ‘good’ characters to come out on top, which ultimately they do. Children will be encouraged to stand up for what they believe in, to consider their own morals and values and what is important to them.
- Reading Age: 7+