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Running Wild

  • Date Submitted: 07/28/2011 05:34 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 65.1 
  • Words: 410
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Running Wild is about a nine year old boy called Will, who finds himself in the jungle of Indonesia, after the recent death of both of his parents. His soldier father dies in Iraq from a road side bomb, and then his mother drowns in the boxing day tsunami while she and Will are on holidays trying to come to terms with their grief. Will survives the tradegy when Oona, the elephant he is riding, senses danger and charges away from the ocean and towards the higher ground within the rainforest.

The majority of the book is set in the rainforest where Will survives and adapts to the jungle over the following year with the help of Oona. The jungle provides challenges for Will to overcome and dangers for him to face. With all of its dangers and discomforts the jungle was “alive with scents and colours and sounds”   Initially his sole purpose is to survive by finding food, water and shelter. This distracts him from the grief, fear and memories that threaten to overwhelm him. He finds himself being “   soaked up by the jungle and becoming part of this gigantic all consuming sponge” He is captured by hunters who sell live and dead animals, and he becomes a surrogate parent to three orphaned urangatans. The jungle cements his passion for nature and ultimately he has to choose which life he prefers.

Will originally lived in Salisbury in England and often visited his grandparents who lived on a farm in Devon. His dad referred to him as a “licorice allsort” as his dad was Scottish and his mom was a Swiss Indonesian. As a younger child he always loved nature and he found the glimpse of any animal the “highlight of any train journey”. He had always “longed to be a part of their wild world”.His grandfather had been a walking encyclopedia of nature and he loved spending time with him.

Oona the twelve year old elephant is undeniably the other main character. She becomes Wills protector and guide as well as his friend and family. She is intelligent , knowing' thoughtful and...


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