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Runt the Brave Hardcover – January 25, 2004

14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“Schwabauer combines the best of Narnia, Middle Earth, and his own talent in this unforgettable retelling of David & Goliath.”  - Church Libraries “fantastic” - Midwest Book Review “amazing”  - Heartland Reviews --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

About the Author

Daniel Schwabauer, M.A., is creator of the One Year Adventure Novel writing curriculum and editor of Crosswind Comics. His professional work includes stage plays, radio scripts, short stories, newspaper columns, comic books and scripting for the PBS animated series Auto-B-Good. His young adult novels have received numerous awards, including the Ben Franklin Award for Best New Voice in Children?s Literature and the Eric Hoffer Award. He graduated from Kansas University?s Masters program in Creative Writing in 1995. He lives in Olathe, Kansas with his wife and daughter.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 and up
  • Grade Level: 4 and up
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Clear Water Press (January 25, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0974297216
  • ISBN-13: 978-0974297217
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,168,441 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Peter DeVries on July 3, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I confess, I let this book sit on my shelf a long time before I read it. Once I picked it up, though, I found it difficult to leave the story. "Runt the Brave" is a tale of action and adventure that focuses on a particularly small mouse named JaRed. JaRed lives in uncertain times; his home, the city-state of Tira-Nor, is threatened by drought and an army of rats.

In stories of adventure and discovery, the narrative voice and flow of the story determine how enjoyable it is to read. "Runt the Brave" is a pleasure. Schwabauer writes with an active voice and uses his settings to create rich atmospheres. The following text passage is just one example: "Summer drew to a close. The stalks of corn in the fields far to the west bent over in death and turned slowly from yellow to black. The endless shafts of tall grass that carpeted the prairie now stood resolutely dormant, as brittle as the wings of a moth. Even the earth seemed little more than a shriveled and rotting husk. Its skin, now hard as bone, lay split into a cracqueleur pattern of dusty runnels" (90).

The story is aimed primarily for youth ages 9-12, but adults will enjoy the story too. Also, "Runt the Brave" would be a good book for parents to read out loud with younger children who will certainly enjoy the well-woven words and actions of young JaRed.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Rick M. Mcgarry on August 28, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I knew this was a story about a city of mice, and I was pretty sure it was inspired by the Old Testament.

I really thought this was going to be pretty terrible. I expected a heavily moralistic very wooden allegory with two dimensional characters.

It is not like that at all.

This is a good fantasy. I felt connected to the characters and their situations. The depictions of the culture and history of the city, and the legends told by the mice intrigued me.

I am looking forward to reading this book again with my 11 year old, and giving it as gifts to other children this Christmas.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By deudad on January 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I've read a lot of books about talking animals, and Runt the Brave is up there with the best of them.

Runt the Brave tells the story of a mouse, JaRed also known as Runt. He's small, as his name implies, and isn't the most popular mouse in the kingdom of Tira-Nor. Nevertheless, he is anointed to be the next king by the seer. From there, things start to get hectic. Rats attack, and everything goes down hill. The story follows closely to that of King David in the Bible. Over all, the basic plot is simple; almost cliché. But it's what Schwabauer does with the story and characters that make this book so good.

I'll begin by answering whether or not the books serves its purpose. And that answer is yes. It serves its purpose very well. It is extremely entertain, and I'd go as far as to say it's gripping. It's a fresh, exciting read, and very original.

The writing is quick, and the author doesn't fall into the usual pits that most other authors fall into. In fact, he not only doesn't fail, he succeeds on every level. He utilizes all of the best writing techniques to his advantage. I wasn't disappointed in the least. I was happy to have found such a solid read.

The characters are true to themselves to the end, are dynamic, and interesting. Schwabauer mad them seem important and relevant, and I cared what happened to them. The decisions they made changed the course of the plot, which may seem contradictory in the sense that it follows the story of David in the Bible, but that's the brilliance of the novel. He doesn't only stick to a story that already has been laid out; he uses it to his advantage by making the characters move all the pieces into place. He makes the story his own. Not only that, there is nothing allegorical about this book at all.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Hobbit Wannabe on August 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I read quite a few "Redwall" books before realizing something: they were decidedly shallow. It wasn't just that every book had the same plot (though that was painfully true). The stories lacked depth. Meaning. Purpose.

I stopped reading them.

I learned about "Runt the Brave". And I thought, "Oh boy... another mouse story." How many "mouse stories" have been written about the brave undersized mouse who defeats an army of evil rats? While I knew Mr. Schwabauer knew a thing or two about writing (I've used his curriculum "One Year Adventure Novel") and saw that the Runt books had won quite a few awards, I was reticent. Oh yes, I was reticent.

Could yet another mouse story be any better than the countless others, most of which were... lame?

Yes. Oh yes. At last, I was convinced to buy Runt the Brave. And reader, it was well worth the purchase. My only regret is that I did not also purchase Runt the Hunted at the same time. This spring, at a writer's conference, I had the privilege to hear Mr. Schwabauer read an excerpt from his third (unfinished) Runt book, The Curse of the Seer. It left me close to tears.

You can read all the other reviews to find out what it's about. You should know that if you've read "Redwall" and liked it, you'll almost certainly like Runt the Brave. If you didn't like "Redwall", the odds are that you will like Runt the Brave, and subsequent books. It has what Redwall doesn't: a plot with meaning; characters who are not shallow caricatures, but have depth and substance; a villain worth fearing; and some pretty decent poetry, to boot.
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