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Runner by [Newton, Robert]
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Runner Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Length: 226 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled Page Flip: Enabled
Age Level: 12 and up Grade Level: 7 and up

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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: 449 KB
  • Print Length: 226 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (March 4, 2009)
  • Publication Date: March 4, 2009
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001UID8DW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,649,093 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have studied this book with teenagers from Year 7 to Year 10, and they generally really enjoy the story. Characters speaking in oddly spelt and punctuated vernacular throws them at the start, but they get into the story quickly and there is a surprising amount to discuss and investigate. This book has been very popular with the boys especially. Many of them tell me this is their favourite book.
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By Cat on September 6, 2012
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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