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Running Wild

4.17  ·  Rating Details ·  1,907 Ratings  ·  161 Reviews
An epic and heart-rending jungle adventure from the bestselling author of Kaspar and Born to Run. For Will and his mother, going to Indonesia isn't just a holiday. It's an escape, a new start, a chance to put things behind them - things like the death of Will's father. And to begin with, it seems to be just what they both needed. But then Oona, the elephant Will is riding ...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by HarperCollins Children's Books (first published January 1st 2009)
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Community Reviews

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the never-ending library
I always thought if I were ever going to have an animal for a best friend it would be a unicorn. That’s until I was introduced to Oona. The world’s most devoted, caring and intelligent Elephant, and the best friend Will could ask for.

I should probably warn you that this book is the tear jerker of all tear jerkers. If you’re a fan of Morpurgo then this will come as no surprise. The man sure does have a knack for dealing with sensitive subject matter. The issues dealt with in Running Wild are poi
Nov 12, 2014 Olivia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Such a beautiful ,well written book.Really enjoyed it and it was quiet sad but was determined to finish it.This was the book that made me start reading actually and will definitely be buying my own copy.I recommend it to everyone.
Arisha Salman
Jun 04, 2016 Arisha Salman rated it really liked it
This is that one, sole book that I won't ever forget, due to the fact that this without a doubt deserves five stars and I mean it. Sadly-and it frustrates me so much to say this-the ending of the book ruined everything for me. Because I don't like to mention spoilers I'll keep away from that, and not everyone might agree with my point about the ending, but I expected a much more realistic and suitable ending. Something that I could digest. The ending seemed to be, maybe too idealistic and just t ...more
Jul 16, 2012 Isabelle rated it it was amazing
A great story about a boy, and how an elephant saves the boy's life from terrible disasters. I could always visualizing what happened. The author, Michael Morpurgo, was very descriptive in this story. I was very surprised by the end, but I loved the end just as it was. I laughed out loud many many times in this story, as well as cried one or two times.

The relantionship that Will, the boy, and Oona, the elephant, had was incredible. They were like best friends, and when they got seprated they al
Sep 05, 2011 Emily rated it it was amazing
I couldn't put the book down because you felt like if you did then something would happen and you wouldn't see it. It's an epic story of a boy who loses his mum because of a tidal wave on the beach, the only reason he is alive is because of one clever Elephant. He was having a ride when the Elephant went all strange and ran off, the boy doesn't know how to stop the Elephant and starts panicking. After a few days it dawns on him that he has lost his mum, as well as his dad. He starts to make frie ...more
Keisha Keenleyside
Jul 06, 2013 Keisha Keenleyside rated it it was amazing
Running wild is a young adult novel based on events that have and are happening. As stated at the end 'it is a book that everyone in the world should know because its full of hope and determination.'

When i first started this book i thought it would be a drag, the first twelve pages were about a train journey. However the story slowly progressed and i found i couldnt put it down.
After sensing a tsunami Oona an elephant that Will was riding carries him off into the jungle far away till she feels
Alyssa Austin
Apr 09, 2015 Alyssa Austin rated it it was amazing
Im an in love with this book! I usually don't like to read realistic fiction and find it boring or very descriptive about literally EVERYTHING. However, this book started off with a bang. Tragedy struck his life then instead of writing the whole book around the fact that that it happened (like I had thought it would) but it surprises you and the book comes back and slaps you across the face. Then, just as a sense of peace and tranquil comes over the characters, the book reaches out and slaps you ...more
Aug 11, 2011 Derek rated it did not like it
In fairness I read a proof copy of this but the only way it could have been improved since is if it was put in a shredder. It couldn't be worse if Dan Brown rewrote it. It's just absolutely awful. I'm sorry about that, but it is. I feel bad leaving a review like this, and I tried very hard to find something positive about it, but I couldn't. All I could think was that the publisher has a cheek...
Essentially there was something wrong on every page - from where a boy hasn't eaten for a couple of d
Lorenzo Budroni
May 03, 2016 Lorenzo Budroni rated it it was amazing
This book gets off to a beginning that grasps my attention and has a bittersweet ending. All based on a real event (Indian Boxing day tsunami Dec 26th 2004) which makes it sort of relatable because of hearing about other tsunamis on news websites and being able to connect to that.
It's relatable because when I first heard of the Japanese tsunami in 2011 I saw footage of it and to live through those kind of events it's horrible to see everything be washed away from you.
Overall a definite five star
Jul 03, 2016 Heather rated it really liked it
This was a terrific book of hope, courage and survival amidst despair and destruction. Based on true events and with strong parallels to "The Jungle book", nine-year-old Will finds himself on the back of an elephant when the Boxing Day tsunami strikes. Sensing the disaster before it happens, Oona, the elephant, stampedes towards the jungle, away from the danger and for the next twelve months Will and Oona have to survive living in the forests of Indonesia. While the story is told from Will's per ...more
Andy Turner
Apr 27, 2014 Andy Turner rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
Brilliant, educational and a bit of an emotional roller coaster. I read this book to my 8 year old boy and 6 year old girl as a bed time story over the course of a couple of weeks. Some of the chapters were too long for us to read in single sessions, but there were convenient places to stop in the long chapters. There is a lot of the harshness of the world in the story, especially to do with death, loss, cruelty and environmental destruction through resource over-exploitation. The harshness in t ...more
Lorna (Loz) Parsons
May 06, 2016 Lorna (Loz) Parsons rated it it was amazing
It has information on the war in Iraq, deforestation, endagered species, and the connection of people to animals and nature, how they can heal a broken heart. Also, how small things can make one huge difference, and happiness is important.

It was beautifully written, very heart warming and sad. Of course, it's Murpurgo, I expected it to be sad.

I wanted to read this book for a really long time and had very high expectations, I wasn't dissapointed one little bit.
Sep 09, 2014 Madhu rated it it was amazing
Title- Running Wild
Author- Michael morpurgo

First read the summary of Book

This Story begins in England or Indonesia in 1921 during Iraq and Syria War. The Main Characters are Will and his Elephant named Oona. Other Characters are Mom, Grandparents, Dad, Mister Anthony (The Hunter) and his Friends (Tonk, Bart and Charlie). This is Story of a Boy named Will who lived with his mom, Dad, Grandparents and his Elephant Oona. His Dad was the Soldier and he went to Iraq for a War and got killed
Keali N
Mar 19, 2015 Keali N rated it really liked it
Running Wild is my favourite book I have read.
After Will’s father dies by a bomb in Iraq, he moves with his mother to Indonesia. He dreams of riding an elephant and meets Oona, a female elephant that senses a tsunami is on its way. Sadly, the tsunami hits the beach and kills Will’s mother and many others in the water.
Oona runs into the jungle with Will to escape to safety. Here, they begin to form a close friendship and work together to survive.

This interesting novel focuses on survival, frien
Jan 17, 2015 TheBirdNerd rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone!
I read this book when I was young ,7 or 8 and it was probably the first book that really moved me! It is a beautiful story with wonderful descriptions , telling the tale of how boy becomes lost in the jungle and captivated by it but soon realizes how humans are damaging it. The last lines of the books are quite emotional.A must read!
Jun 16, 2014 Flora rated it really liked it
This book by Michael Morpurgo is a very gripping story. It will bring tears to your eyes and a smile to your face.

For Will and his mother, going to Indonesia isn’t just a holiday. It’s an escape, a new start, a chance to put things behind them - things like the death of Will’s father. And to begin with, it seems to be just what they both needed. But then Oona, the elephant Will is riding on the beach, begins acting strangely, shying away from the sea. And that’s when the tsunami comes crashing
Naomi Sarah
This book is so saaaaad. Michael Morpurgo, he really knows how to ACHE my soul. It's a beautiful book, though - captivating, thrilling. I would definitely buy it for my children. :-)

The story is about a boy called Will who has just lost his father (sob) and, to try to ease his sadness, he and his Mum go on a holiday to Indonesia, to a seaside very close to the jungle. Will takes an elephant ride on the beach while his Mum is lying down on the beach. The elephant senses a tsunami coming up and he
Lily Greenslade
Sep 12, 2015 Lily Greenslade rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-reads
I adored this! I wasn't expecting to be so drawn into it as I was. Such a beautifully written book, not just for kids, but for everyone that wants to be inspired by true friendship and kindness.
Vi Walker
Jun 05, 2016 Vi Walker rated it really liked it
Michael Morpurgo's books are usually classified as Young Adult and the central character in this exciting tale is a 9 year old boy so presumably that is the bottom end of its target audience although (and it may be that I'm being over-sensitive here) I would be inclined to add a PG listing for that age group as the background events for this story are only too real. However, it also raises some very important environmental issues in such a way that they really hit home. It is certainly a book I ...more
Libby Meyer
Jun 16, 2015 Libby Meyer rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
This is a beautiful book about a boy’s journey following the traumatic tsunami of 2004. Alone, with his elephant, Oona, Will is forced to forge his own path and try to find his way back home. It is a book that is as gripping as it is tragic, and universally enjoyable. I read it to my year three class, but as a guided reading book or stimulus, it would be suitable for higher KS2. The extensive vocabulary means that it is a great book to extend children’s learning (as a class, we had to look up ph ...more
Jan 24, 2015 Courtney added it
Recommends it for: Young readers / Adults
By far my all time favourite book. Love how adventurous the character is and the things that happen in the book. At times I was crying to myself and at times I couldn't be more happier reading the book. It has being a while since I have read it but I know no book I have read in the mean while can challenge taking the lace of my favourite book because this just is... there it is staying!
Just love Michael Morpurgo's writing style and how he addresses a subject of which happens in the book, writte
Sep 20, 2012 Laura rated it did not like it
This was so depressing. I read it to my kids and none of us liked it.
Rebecca Bond
Mar 30, 2016 Rebecca Bond rated it it was ok
I'm a massive fan of Michael Morpurgo, I always have been since a very young age. But this was the only book of his that I didn't enjoy. It surprised me because I really thought I'd love it especially due to the fact it was based on my favourite animal and just animals in general. (Yep, I'm a massive animal lover!) Yes, it was a touching story but I couldn't connect with any of the characters and I didn't get emotional like a good book usually does to me. I might read it again though since it ha ...more
Aug 17, 2016 Oliver rated it did not like it
This could be one of the most depressing books I've ever read. From constant comments about elephant farting to the most unrealistic survival story imaginable. Morpurgo says at the end that he always wanted to write a book on Elephants. But then the Iraq war, the Boxing Day Tsunami and then an orangutan sanctuary made him say that he had to write the book???!!!
Francesca Budiman
Nov 12, 2015 Francesca Budiman rated it really liked it
Running Wild by Michael Morpurgo is the story of a boy named Will who is saved by an elephant called Oona from a tsunami. They travel the Indonesian jungle together and meet many obstacles in their path. I thought that the presence of some major issues involving rain forests in the book was a great way to help the plot move along. I also like how emotions are handled in the book, as the way it is written makes you feel them as well. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a good book wit ...more
Amelia Rees-Williams
I did not read Michael morpurgo as a child and often he is criticised by lectures as an easy choice for teachers when reading with their class. I was a little sceptical to start reading but this is a fantastic book.

Within the first 50 pages I had nearly cried twice. The book was fantastic at dealing with loss, natural disaster, growing up, making your on choice, friends, family, war and the brutality of the human race and the dramatic effects we can have of the planet.

Truly moving book would rec
Mar 02, 2015 Alicia rated it it was amazing
I just read this with my 10 year old daughter and I loved it!! We have been reading it most nights and always end up reading way past her bedtime because we want to find out what happens next.

It is a great adventure story about a boy who survives the Boxing Day Tsunami when he is saved by an elephant. The love between Will and Oona the elephant is very moving. The rest of the characters include three baby orangatuans, a mother orangatuan and an Other One (orangutan) that watches over them. Oh an
Mar 08, 2012 Eleanor rated it it was amazing
Michael Morpurgo has always been one of my favourite authors. I was looking for a book to read on my way to London when I saw this book called 'Running Wild' by Michael Morpurgo. The cover and blurb both looked and sounded very interesting so I bought the book hoping it would help pass my time. The genre of Running Wild is adventure/ realistic fiction. I would say the age group is around 9-13 years old.

'Running Wild' is about a boy named Will who lives with his single mother in England. His dad
Isabella M
Aug 04, 2011 Isabella M rated it really liked it
This novel was about a young boy on an elephant ride in thailand, when the tsunami hit. The elephant sensing the tsunami, ran up from the beach, into the jungle, with the chlid on its back. The elephant and the child live in the jungle, trying to survive together, as the village was destroyed and there was no way of returning. The relationship between the elephant and the child develops throughout the story, with obsticals such as native jungle people and dangerous native animals, testing their ...more
Aug 04, 2011 Julie rated it really liked it
Another good book by Michael Morpurgo,it is the story of a young boy who after losing his father in the war in Iraq, goes with his mother on holiday to Thailand when the Tsunami hits. Will is saved as he is riding on an elephant at the time, and it has been said all the animals disappeared before the Tsunami hit as they obviously sensed the changes in the atmosphere,. Oona the elephant takes off into the jungle with Will and thats where the story begins and their efforts to survive. I like the ...more
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Michael Morpurgo is the author of many books for children, five of which have been made into films. He also writes his own screenplays and libretti for opera. Born in St Albans, Hertfordshire, in 1943, he was evacuated to Cumberland during the last years of the war, then returned to London, moving later to Essex. After a brief and unsuccessful spell in the army, he took up teaching and started to ...more
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