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Runner [Kindle Edition]

Robert Newton
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $7.99
Sold by: Random House LLC


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Book Description

Charlie's father is dead, and although his mother insists he stay in school, Charlie has no patience for the classroom. All he wants is to make money, to give his mother and baby brother a better life. So when he catches the eye of Squizzy Taylor, a notorious mobster, and is offered a job as Squizzy's courier, it doesn't take Charlie long to accept—even if he has to go against his own mother's wishes.

At first, the job's a thrill—running with messages, illegal liquor, whatever Squizzy orders. It fills Charlie with power. But then come the not-so-savory parts of the job. Collecting Squizzy's debts. Dodging Squizzy's enemies. The very real dangers of the streets. And at some point Charlie has to ask himself—how long before running for a better life means cutting his life short?

From the Hardcover edition.

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5–8—Charlie Feehan, 16, stuffs the holes in his boots with newspaper and runs through the streets of Melbourne, in 1919, to escape the cold and sadness in his mother's tiny flat since his father died. When the city's most notorious gangster, Squizzy Taylor, offers the teen a paying job as a runner, he secretly quits school and takes to the streets, delivering illegal liquor and collecting money for his boss. Vowing to surprise his mother with money to ease her burden, Charlie ignores obvious dangers. Teamed up with "Nostrils," he cowardly runs away from a gang one night, leaving the boy behind to be brutally beaten. Shaken, Charlie quits the illegal running and listens to his neighbor Mr. Redmond, who offers to train him to run for a purse in the Bellarat footraces. Betting his ill-gotten gains on himself, Charlie wins and uses the money to help Nostrils, who is now on crutches. Rich dialogue in Australian dialect creates a colorful picture of the historical urban setting, suspenseful plot, and warm characterizations. Minor figures are as well developed as the protagonist, and readers will enjoy Nostrils and his football-obsessed father, Charlie's budding romance with the baker's daughter, and the flamboyant Squizzy and his motherly girlfriend. Add this one to adventure collections or bibliographies about Prohibition.—Vicki Reutter, Cazenovia High School, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

In 1919, in the working-class slums of Richmond, Australia, 15-year-old Charlie and his mother shiver through their first winter since Charlie's father died. Looking for warmth and an outlet for his grief, Charlie sets off on nighttime runs that attract the attention of a local gangster. Soon, Charlie is running booze and collecting debts for the local Mob. After the gang warfare heats up and his best friend is severely wounded, Charlie uses his athletic talents to pursue a more honorable path. Charlie's nostalgic voice occasionally veers into cliche--"The sleazy streets seduced me, and, like a moth to the flame, I gladly surrendered"--and the colorful cast includes the stereotypical characters of a gangster film. Still, the witty wise-guy patter and the thrilling running scenes deftly balance the grim survival of poverty, and readers will be easily drawn into the old-fashioned, heart-tugging tale of a boy overcoming extraordinary odds. A glossary of Australian slang and a note explaining historical references are appended. Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • File Size: 314 KB
  • Print Length: 226 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0375837442
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (March 4, 2009)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001UID8DW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #973,550 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too May 24, 2007
After Charlie Feehan's beloved father passes away, it seems the whole Feehan family hits rock bottom -- until Squizzy Taylor offers Charlie an amazing job with a matching miraculous paycheck.

The illegal liquor runs turn Charlie into someone he truly isn't, though. And when his good mate, Nostrils, gets a beating, Charlie has to decide whether to choose a dangerous path in life or a wiser one.

With top-notch training, Charlie is either ready for his big mile-long race -- or not.

RUNNER is a very well-detailed and exciting book. Robert Newton is a talented writer. A great read!

Reviewed by: Holly
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best Buddy September 6, 2012
By Cat
Format:Kindle Edition
This book is very interesting. It tells you about real events that happened in Richmond in Melbourne in the 1920's. Some of the characters were real. There is many funny and interesting parts. Fnally this book is very interesting.
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5.0 out of 5 stars excellent writing March 25, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Knowing Richmond as it is today, it's a great history lesson. Combined with great characters and an excellent storyline, Charlie Feehan is a superb hero and this was an excellent read
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3.0 out of 5 stars Okay December 17, 2013
By Annie
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I had to read this book for school so that probably clouds my judgment a bit. I think it was a good book and it was well written but I was just bored and I guess the stuff was a little predictable.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Runner July 13, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It is written in very Australian language and slang that an Aussie would understand and enjoy but may need some interpretation by others outside of Australia
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