Home > Junior Fiction, Senior Fiction > Running Wild by Michael Morpurgo

Running Wild by Michael Morpurgo

Running Wild by Michael Morpurgo. Pub. HarperCollins, 2009

When the tsunami hit Indonesia on Boxing Day 2004, Will a 9 year old British boy, was sitting on top of Oona, an Asian elephant, walking along the beach. Oona sensed that something was wrong and took off into the jungle and kept going for days.

What follows is an amazing story of survival in which Will comes to rely on Oona for his survival and three orang-utan babies depend on Will for theirs.

Will travels around the dense Indonesian rainforest for nearly a year and his story is beautifully told by Michael Morpurgo in his unique style. Morpurgo’s  knowledge of the wildlife and plantlife of the rainforest ecosystem is inspirational. Nobody does it better.

Morpurgo links Will’s survival with the world wide plight of the rainforest habitat with Will encountering heartless smugglers of orang-utans, and those that destroy their habitat to grow palm oil trees.

This is a conservation story with Morpurgo pulling no punches as to scale of the rainforest destruction, the plight of the remaining orang-utans  and where the blame should lie.

The story of Will, Oona and the orang-utans is exciting and uplifting and the ending will melt your heart.

It is a long book, over 350 pages, but is an easy read for children from 9-16 years old. If you have never read a Michael Morpurgo novel before do yourself a favour and read this one.

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