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Running with Horses

"The trauma of grief, the brutality of bullies, the magical realness of dreams, and the power of nature — this poetic triumph reveals we’re stronger than we think"

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LoveReading Says

LoveReading Says

Blessed with the poetic honesty and sense of nature that made We Were Wolves such a triumph, Jason Cockcroft’s Running with Horses is tells hauntingly affecting story of loss, love, recovering from trauma, and the magic of nature and friendship bonds. It’s a raw and beautiful book that lingers long, enhanced by illustrations that evoke the menace and emotional turmoil of the protagonist’s journey.

Rabbit has been overwhelmed by guilt and grief since the day he saw his father die, so his mum has moved them to a new place by the sea. Rabbit’s dad always said “there are two sorts of truth. There’s the truth that Lights the Way, and there’s the truth that Warms the Heart. Well, if you ask me there’s a third sort — the truth that you have to get out no matter what. That’s the truth I’m going to tell, because it’s the only one I know. And my truth starts and ends with Joe Fludde’s smile.” 

Joe and Rabbit have a gloriously special bond. Brutally bullied by his older brother, like Rabbit, Joe is a “Troubled Soul”, as was Rabbit’s dad. “A bit of a dreamer”, Rabbit’s father “said the world was full of ancient animals and magic, and we were just passing by”. As a result, Rabbit’s haunting dreams of a white horse make him feel connected to his dad, a feeling that’s heightened when Joe says he’ll take Rabbit to see a dead horse he’s discovered. But in place of the horse, the boys find a man and become embroiled in criminal activities that are perilously close to home.

With an urgent inferno of a climax suffused in magic and nature, the best of humanity glints through destructive flames to create a powerfully memorable story. In keeping with Rabbit’s dad’s words, Running with Horses brims with truths that light the way and warm the heart, and, chiming with Rabbit’s words, it’s also alive with truths about loss and love that must be told, no matter what.

Joanne Owen

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Primary Genre Young Adult Fiction
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