Friday 29 April 2011

Run, Rabbit, Run by Barbara Mitchelhill and a UK Book Giveaway

Pages - 221

Published in 2011 by Anderson Press

Book kindly sent to me by the author.

Rochdale 1942
You know how it is when you've got a secret and you can't tell anybody? And you have to got to school and pretend everything's normal, even when you know it's not?  Well, it was like that on the first day back after Christmas. 
The war had been going on for ages - horrible things like rationing, blackouts and air-raids sirens happened all the time. On and on and on. But that day I had a secret, and I had something to look forward to.

Lizzie's dad is a conscientious objector to killing people and refuses to fight in the Second World War. Often seen as cowards, Lizzie suffers the abuse from the children at school due to her father's refusal to fight. The police come looking to arrest Lizzie's father, so they all go on the run in the middle of the night, in a desperate attempt to stay together as a family. For a while, they manage to live happily in the idyllic  Whiteway, until their past catches up with them and pushes them on the run again.  Will they ever be able to find peace and live together as a family again?

This book is aimed at the 9 -12 age range and is one of those books that I would find myself recommending to school teachers. If I was still in the classroom, I would definitely use this book as a starting point for the World War II topic often carried out in Year 2.  I think it is a wonderfully descriptive story of life as a child during the world, from the viewpoint of a family vehemently against the war.

The characters are beautifully written and the plot shows the sharp realities of war and how it affects families.  Before reading it, I had never considered how families coped with the separation, and this book really brings home the difficulties and the heartbreaking emotions caused by children being evacuated. The way families are torn apart by war is such a strong theme throughout the book, that I felt it would be a fine example for the children of today to read, who never seem to realise how lucky they are. I think that today's school children would get so much from reading this book, allowing them to visualise what life was like for someone of their age, during hostile times.

I loved Lizzie as a character, I found her very grown up for age, dealing with a lot of difficult situations. I honestly could not see my own children, managing as well as Lizzie.  I could understand her father's decision, but felt he struggled to consider what was best for his children.

This book is quite a short book, so it could easily be read to the class within a few days. If you know any teachers, studying World War II with their class, then I would highly recommend this book.

Barbara Mitchellhill has brought World War II to the children of today.

Barbara Mitchelhill is offering a signed copy of her book 'Run, Rabbit, Run' on my blog today. If you would like to win a copy of this book, then please leave a comment with your name and your email address so that I can contact you if you are a winner. You don't have to be a follower to enter, but it would lovely if you could promote this competition either via Twitter, or on your blog. The competition closes  on Friday 6th May at midnight.  I must stress again, that is a UK only competition.

Come back tomorrow to read Barbara Mitchelhill's guest post.


  1. I would love to enter this giveaway please. Booketta
    My twitter name is bookettajane.
    Email booketta at gmail dot com

  2. I can't imagine how I would feel having to send my children away. My Mum was evacuated as a child and it just seems so hard to imagine. I'd love to read this, thanks for the chance to win.


    I'll sidebar and tweet too :)

  3. I would love to be entered into the draw. Many thanks.

    My e.mail addy is:


    I'll also tweet (user name caffyolay).

  4. I cannot enter this giveaway :(, but I will post it in my blog's sidebar.

  5. It does like you say sound like a good book to read to the class when talking about the war

  6. You're so right about it sounding like a classroom introduction to the war - As you were describing it, it reminded me exactly of the kind of books the teacher would read to us in Junior School. Sounds interesting. I like anything set around the war though. :)

  7. This does sound like a good one to share in the classroom when discussing the war. Great review.

  8. Will come back when I'm able to catch up with blog posts, but wanted to be sure I entered this giveaway, would lovethe chance to read it, thanks :)

  9. I was really interested up until the "9 - 12 age range" point, haha. I have a younger cousin but she might be a bit *too* young still. I don't think they've started learning about WW2 yet.

    I think this would have made a great YA historical fiction novel (like Between Shades of Gray).

  10. I've always found the concept of sending children away during WWII to be a very hard thing to wrap my head around but I've not really read any books that really dealt with the separation aspect of it. This sounds like a really interesting read.


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