Reader Reviewed The Runaways by Megan Rix

The Runaways

Written by Megan Rix

9+ readers   Summer Reading/Activity    11+ readers   The World Wars   eBooks   
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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Shortlisted for the 2015 Red House Children's Book Award Two elephants and an old Border collie are the stars of Megan Rix’s wonderfully heart-warming new animal story. It’s 1917 and as the First World War rages, Cullen’s Circus is forced to close. With Albert their keeper gone, Shanti is forcibly parted from her calf Tara in a heart-wrenching scene. But Harvey the collie won’t leave the little elephant and the two set out to find Shanti. The animals are real characters, their loyalty and bravery in stark contrast to some – though by no means all – of the humans. Tara and Harvey’s journey feels completely credible and there won’t be a dry eye in the house for the final chapters. There are cameo appearances for Beatrix Potter, Elgar and Houdini, but the story – as with all Megan Rix’s books – belongs to the animals. ~ Andrea Reece

Reader Reviews

Kids love to read and so in addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to review an earlier title by Megan Rix, The Bomber Dog.  You can read their comments below or click here to read the full reviews.

  • Lee Dobinson, age 10 - 'If you enjoy war stories you’ll love reading about what life was like for animals that were used during WWII.  Megan Rix has written a winner here.'
  • Mollie O’Loghlen, aged 10 - ' I give it 5 stars and  have recommended it to all my friends.' 
  • Alice D'Angelo, age 14 - 'I sped through this book and soon lost consciousness of turning the pages and became part of the flow of the story.'
  • Adam Graham, age 10 - 'This book is a gripping story about a man named Nathan and his beloved dog Grey who are almost inseparable even though they have only been together for a matter of weeks.'
  • James Goodall, age 9 - 'A brave journey across a war torn country - how far would you go for friendship? This book is so cool...I recommend you read it!'
  • Benjy Randall - 'The Bomber Dog is a super exciting book...I was totally absorbed in the story and found myself reading it at every opportunity - even when I was doing my teeth! Overall I really loved the book and would definitely recommend it - it is probably one of my top choices this year so far.  I am planning to read Megan Rix's other books as soon as I possibly can!'
  • Sam Harper, age 9  a perfect mix of heart warming friendship and thrilling adventure.  I've never read anything like it and it has inspired me to learn more about the lives of military dogs during the war.  I can't wait to read Megan Rix's other books but, in the mean time, I'll be reading this fantastic book again!


The Runaways by Megan Rix

It is a brand new animal adventure for 8+ readers set during World War One from classic-in-the-making and bestselling author, Megan Rix. This book is perfect for fans of Michael Morpurgo and Sarah Lean.

Two friends, fighting their way home ...Shanti and her calf Tara are beautiful circus elephants. Harvey is the faithful old collie who leads the show. In war they will perform their most death-defying trick yet. When the First World War seizes Europe, Cullen's Circus is forced to close. The men are sent to fight and the animals are torn apart from their keepers, and each other. But while Shanti must help on a farm, it's little Tara who faces a far worse fate...Separated too soon from her mother, Tara's life is in danger. Only old, brave Harvey can bring them back together. And so side-by-side, dog and elephant set out on an extraordinary journey across the English countryside - but can the unlikely friends find Shanti in time? But can the unlikely pair reach Shanti in time?


Praise for Megan Rix:

'If you love Michael Morpurgo, you will enjoy this Express

A moving tale told with warmth, kindliness and lashings of good sense that lovers of Dick King-Smith will especially appreciate' The Times

'Every now and then a writer comes along with a unique way of storytelling ... Meet Megan Rix ... her novels are deeply moving and will strike a chord with animal lovers' LoveReading

A moving tale told with warmth, kindliness and lashings of good sense that lovers of Dick King-Smith will especially appreciate. The Times.

A perfect story for animal lovers and lovers of adventure stories. Travelling Book Company

About the Author

Megan Rix

Megan Rix was born in London and lived in America, Singapore and New Zealand before marrying and moving to the East of England. When not writing she can be found walking by the river with her dogs, Traffy and Bella, who are usually in the river.

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Book Info


272 pages
Interest Age: From 8


Megan Rix
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Puffin Books an imprint of Penguin Books Ltd

Publication date

7th May 2015




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