This book was on the Shortlist for the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s Book of the Year Awards – Younger Readers
Craig Silvey is a Western Australian author, currently living in Fremantle. His adult novels include: Rhubarb, Jasper Jones, and Honeybee. Runt is his first children’s novel.
Eleven-year-old Annie Shearer lives in a small town named Upson Downs. She’s small for her age and a bit of a loner. Her passion is fixing things.
A fortuitous meeting brings her and a stray dog, Runt, together. The two become inseparable. It turns out, Runt is agile, fast, and great at obeying Annie’s directions and commands. However, Runt won’t perform when other people are watching.
Annie lives on a sheep farm with her parents, Brian and Susie, grandma, Dolly, and her daredevil brother, Max. The long term drought has affected most farmers’ livelihoods, including the Shearers’, who are trapped in a web of mounting debts.
When Annie stumbles upon the dog agility competition at the annual grand markets, she is excited about the possibility of winning the first prize and the five hundred dollars that come with it. However, there is a significant hurdle – Runt freezes in the presence of other people. Will Annie and Runt enter and win the competition? Read and you’ll find out.
I read this novel in two sittings as I was captivated by and fully invested in Annie and Runt’s adventures. Runt is the ultimate feel good novel that will warm your heart.
Sara Acton’s illustrations add a bit of charm and whimsy to this delightful novel.