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A to Z Mysteries: The Runaway Racehorse (A Stepping Stone Book(TM)) Library Binding – October 22, 2002


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 4
  • Lexile Measure: 470L (What's this?)
  • Series: A Stepping Stone Book(TM) (Book 18)
  • Library Binding: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers (October 22, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 037591367X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375913679
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #632,344 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

R is for Racehorse . . .

And they're off! Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose are excited to see Uncle Warren's new racehorse, Whirlaway, in action. But the night before the big race, the horse disappears! He shows up the next day, just in time to lose the race. Why is Whirlaway suddenly so slow? Can the kids figure it out–or is Whirlaway out of the winner's circle for good? A to Z Mysteries are fast-paced, collectible mysteries for beginning chapter book readers!

About the Author

RON ROY has been writing books for children since 1974. He is the author of dozens of books, including the popular A to Z Mysteries, Capital Mysteries, and Calendar Mysteries. When not working on a new book in his Connecticut home, Ron likes to teach tricks to his dog Pal, play poker with friends, travel, and read thrilling mystery books. Visit him online at RonRoy.com.




From the Trade Paperback edition.

More About the Author

author spotlight
"I'm totally convinced that I am a writer today because I loved books as a kid."--Ron Roy

Ron Roy is the author of the popular A to Z Mysteries series, as well as the Capital Mysteries series, and several picture books. He lives in Connecticut.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

"When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?" I have been asked that question many times since my first book, A Thousand Pails of Water, was published in 1978. Now that I've had so many years to think of an answer, I guess I have to say that at age nine I had an inkling that words were going to be a big part of my life.

When I turned nine, I received for my birthday a wonderful gift--a book. It was about King Arthur and his knights. Even though I vividly remember the shiny blue and red cover and the smell of the new paper, I don't remember the author. But I thank her or him every day of my writing life. That writer stirred up something in me that has been bubbling ever since: a love for reading, and the urgent need to put words down on paper.

In spite of my love for reading, writing as a profession never occurred to me until I became an adult. I worked at an odd variety of jobs before I realized that writing was what I really wanted to do for the rest of my life. Over the years, I waited tables, sold hot dogs, and drove a "Tooth" van from which I taught kids how to brush their teeth and floss. One year I traveled across the world to Hong Kong and taught English to Vietnamese adults. I wrote feature stories for a newspaper and designed letterhead for a printer. One happy summer I worked as a camp counselor.

After two years in the navy and more travel, I landed in the freshman class at the University of Connecticut. Naturally, I majored in English literature. More doors opened for me as I read poetry, novels, essays, and did my share of writing. Still, I did not see myself as a writer. I knew that I enjoyed being around kids, so I became a schoolteacher.

And then, finally, in a fourth-grade classroom, the light bulb in my head flickered on and shone brightly. Its message was, I WANT TO WRITE! In my classroom, I was surrounded by kids and their books. I read those books and fell in love with the characters, the authors, the messages. I was hooked, but I never fought. I allowed myself to be reeled in.

My writing life began one evening after reading parts of Charlotte's Web to my class. Home from teaching, I walked into my apartment, dropped my bookbag, and headed for the typewriter (this was before word processing came along!). I wrote my first story that night and sent it to a book publisher the next day. Four weeks later I received my first rejection slip. But by then, I had written more stories, and they, too, were in the mail, soon to appear on editors' desks around the country.

The rejection slips came in, often flooding my mailbox. But I wrote, and I sent my best work along to a long list of publishing houses. Although more rejection slips arrived with each mail, I never felt rejected. My routine was set, and it didn't change: I taught by day and wrote by night. Each evening found me hunched over the typewriter creating characters, settings, and plots. Most weekends I walked on the beach with a dream in my head and a notebook in my back pocket. From those dreams and notes I wrote story after story.

Four years passed. Dozens of book manuscripts had been written, sent, and rejected. Then the day came when one of those "rejection" envelopes turned out to contain not a rejection but an acceptance. "Dear Mr. Roy . . . We are happy to tell you that we would love to publish your book. . ." Those seventeen words changed my life. I was no longer a schoolteacher who tried to write. I was going to be a published author!

Today, with more than 50 children's books behind me, I can think of no other occupation that would make me as happy. As a writer, I get to do all the things I love most: speak to kids, invent stories, travel, and of course, read. My A to Z Mysteries series sends me to classrooms where I listen to and learn so much from the students. I receive letters from young readers across the globe, and I answer every letter. Many of the letters contain suggestions for new plots, titles, characters. One girl asked if I would use her dog in one of my mysteries. What a great idea, I thought, and invented a canine character for an upcoming book.

Children ask about my writing, but they also want to know about my personal life. "Where do you live?" "Do you have any pets?" "What's your favorite food, color, author, TV show?" I'm happy to tell kids about my life as a writer as well as my life as a person. I live in an old farmhouse in Connecticut. My property consists of three acres of large trees, a barn, and a wonderful chicken coop. Recently, I brought a few chickens to live there, and they have become pets. Like E. B. White (my favorite author!) I love the sound and smell and warmth of animals. But since I travel a lot, I can't fill my barn with critters.

"Where do you get your ideas?" is a question that teachers ask often. "Everywhere," I respond, then I give specifics. Ideas come from reading newspapers and books. Ideas come from TV shows and movies and the news on the radio. I bring ideas back from trips, from church, from the grocery store. The letters I receive from kids are often filled with ideas.

The idea for my first published book evolved from a stroll on the beach. While walking, I came upon an overturned horseshoe crab. With legs frantically waving, the crab tried unsuccessfully to flip over onto its stomach. I uprighted the crab, then watched it scurry into the water and swim away. From that little episode came A Thousand Pails of Water, my picture book about a boy and a beached whale. Not really much of a leap--I saved a crab, the boy in my book saved a whale.

I smile when kids ask me if I write every hour of every day. Some writers do, I suppose, but I find that I need a balance. I spend a goodly number of hours each week actually writing but leave plenty of time for playing with friends, going to the movies and on vacations, and taking naps with my cat. I also work on my house, which seems to require a lot of attention.

In many ways, however, I am "writing" even when doing chores. As I paint my barn, I am thinking of story plots. As I weed my garden, I daydream about new characters. When I nap, I dream about the next mystery in my series . . . and the next.

It's a cycle, really. As a child, I loved to read. Reading led me to writing as a career. I share my books--and thus my love for reading and writing--with children. From them I receive warm feelings and some great ideas.

Now when I write my books, one of my hopes is that I can give back at least a part of the joy I have received.

Happy reading!

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on February 17, 2003
Format: Paperback
You should read this book. It is all about a racehorse, how he got lost and how they found him. It is a really cool story. You should read it sometime.
I'm 8 years old, my name is Lizzy, and this book is just the right level for me.
And I'm not going to give away the whole book to you, but it wasn't too scary that I didn't want to read it. It was just the right amount of scariness.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Andrea VINE VOICE on June 13, 2013
Format: Paperback
"The Runaway Racehorse" by Ron Roy. (A-Z Mysteries).

Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose (the three main characters, and they are best friends) go to New York with their uncle to see a racehorse, Whirlaway. Whirlaway is a fast racehorse and wins races. The three kids read horse books to familiarize themselves with horses and jockeys. Whirlaway acts weird; is he sick? The books give the kids clues and ideas as to what the problem is.

Will Whirlaway start acting normal and win the race as usual?

But in the end, the kids obtain clues and find out exactly what the problem is. The clues they gather are really interesting. The unfolding of this mystery is very clever indeed. But you have to read the book to find out.

I really enjoyed this book.

I strongly recommend the whole series.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By D. Bowe on November 30, 2005
Format: Paperback
The racehorse that ran away was a good book. I liked it because it was great and wonderful. I like horses and I want to ride my own horse someday. Josh was funny because he kept dropping ketchup on his shirt.

I am in Kindergarten and my name is Grace.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on July 7, 2005
Format: Paperback
Lena fourth grade

In this story The Runaway Racehorse has a mystery. There is a horse name Whirlaway that is missing. Three kids help the owner of Whirlaway looking for the horse. The kids are from Green Lawn but one of the kid's grandpa. This book has a great mystery. I think you should read this book because you can like the story from the mystery. My opinion on this book is really great. I couldn't wait to get to the end.
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By contrarymary on March 29, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I think it's a very good book because it has mystery and excitement and I love horses so this book was meant for me and that is why I gave it a five star rating.
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By MJSinDC on February 21, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
At first I thought it was sunny who stole werliway .but then l figure out it was Mr.buck's.I loved this book.I also loved the moral of the story.from,Alexander Strauss
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By home67 on January 16, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My granddaughter just HAD to have this book. She read it faster than ever because it was on the Kindle.
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By Liza Featherstone on January 10, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
the book is awesome !!! One of the best books i read!!! It's worth it to buy it. -- Ivan, age 8
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