Running Wild

Age: 9+

Published: June 2010

ISBN: 9780007267026

Format: Paperback

Other editions

  • Hardback: 9780007267019
  • Ebook: 9780007380664
  • Audio CD: 9780007334377
  • Electronic Audio: 9780007334391
A Michael Morpurgo Month Pick!

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 in, and Oona begins to run. Except that when the tsunami is gone, Oona just keeps on running. With nothing on his back but a shirt and nothing to sustain him but a bottle of water, Will must learn to survive deep in the jungle. Luckily, though, he’s not completely alone . . . He’s got Oona.

“I loved Oona and her love and protection for Will. Great story!” Lee, the Nation’s Favourite Morpurgo Vote

From Kensuke’s Kingdom to Running Wild, Twist of Gold to Dear Olly, Michael Morpurgo talks about the theme of voyages in his books.


  • Shortlisted Independent Booksellers’ Week Book Award
  • Shortlisted Oxfordshire Book Award Primary
  • Nominated The CILIP Carnegie Award
  • Nominated Best Adventure Book Ever – National Geographic Kids

Listen to an extract from the audiobook

Buying options

Buy Running Wild Now

Translated Editions

  • Running Wild (Spanish)
  • Running Wild (Traditional Chinese)
  • Running Wild (Simplified Chinese)
  • Enfant de la jungle
  • Running Wild (Dutch)

Related Activities

Running Wild Word Search

Thumbnail of Running Wild Word Search

Can you find the words from Running Wild in this word search?

Running Wild Book Quiz

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Now you've read Running Wild see how much you can remember from the story.

Related Resources

Download our wonderful Michael Morpurgo Month poster. This version is a smaller file, perfect for slower computers!

Download our wonderful Michael Morpurgo Month poster. This version is a smaller file, perfect for slower computers!

Download our Michael Morpurgo Month guide now

Download our Michael Morpurgo Month guide now

Download our wonderful Michael Morpurgo Month poster and celebrate a book a day in November

Download our wonderful Michael Morpurgo Month poster and celebrate a book a day in November

Download the complete teacher resources pack now

Download the complete teacher resources pack now

Print out this Running Wild poster and stick it on your walls!

Print out this Running Wild poster and stick it on your walls!


Related News

The perfect start to your ereader library

The perfect start to your ereader library

Were you lucky enough to get an ereader this Christmas? Our Classic Morpurgo eBook Collection features Kaspar, Born to Run, The Butterfly Lion, Alone On A Wide Wide Sea, Farm Boy and Running Wild. It’s the perfect start to your ebook library!

Or why not get started with this wonderful collection of war stories? Our Morpurgo War Stories eBook Collection features Private Peaceful, Little Manfred, The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips, Toro! Toro!, Shadow and An Elephant in the Garden.


Write a review of Running Wild. Your review won't appear on the site straight away as we will read it first.

Michael Morpurgo narrates a wonderful story about a boy who is “Running Wild”.  I love this book because it gives me a great perspective and I can relate to it. AMAZING!!!!!!!
Thank you


This is my favourite book in the world. I felt like I was there the whole time and the images in my mind are still so vivid even though I read it years ago, then I read it again one year ago in three days. SOOO GOOOD!!!!! I have written endless reviews on this book. I cry every time I pick it up and I just can’t even explain how well written this book is. I thought about it for weeks after I’d read it and hated those hunters and could never forget that image of that tiger so well described stuck in my mind. So THANKYOU Mr Morpurgo. For writing the best book ever written.
Thank you

This book is the only book that has ever made me cry with no explanation what so ever, it is the most extraordinary and sad yet happy book I have ever read. I recommend that people that can read very well and feel the emotions will adore this book!

The only book that ever made me cry, absolutely beautiful. Morpurgo uses the best description, the sweetest words to create a beautifully polished work of art. This book makes you think about how cruel this world this world really is.

I really enjoyed reading this book!

I absolutely loved this book! I work in a Junior School library and two of our Year 6 classes are reading it for Book Club, it was the most popular choice among the students! I know they will love the book just as much as I did.

its sooo sad and yet so amazing! dont know how you did it but it is just…amazing, hard to describe so read it and you will realise how great it is x

I loved the book there were happy times as well as said times so many conflicted emotions it was just great

I absolutely love your book Running Wild and am doing my book report on it. There is so much adventure and it is a very inspiring story. It has sad parts with the mum and dad but an amazing ending. I especially like the little twist in the middle. I would recommend it to anyone. I am yet to read your other books but look forward to doing just that. Please keep writing more books!

I have borrowed this book from my local library. I have not yet started reading it but after reading the blurb it sounds brilliant!

I love it

Michael Morpurgo I have to say I have never liked reading but your books are the reason why people are reading. The first book I have read of yours was shadow and that had inspired me to read books then I saw running wild and the minute my eyes saw your book I knew that I would treasure the book forever and I have.I don’t know how such a person could make such a story but you can. I can’t even describe how much I love your book.

I loved running wild as it is very energetic and you just want to read on . Amazing book!

Running wild was an absolute beauty! The author really gets under the skins of his characters to get to know them better. This book was also based on the 2004 boxing day tsunami which made me enjoy the book all the more!

I really like this book! I love Will and how he has a connection with the animals! This is my favourite book and i am doing a book report on it! Thank you for creating such an amazing book!

read this book and its absolutely amazing i personally think that it is a bit better than war horse as it is more strange and extravagent and to me sounds more personal

Well I think this book is a sad story but it one of my favourite books and the elephant saved wills life. Unfortunately his mom dies and his dad which is extremely sad.

I think it sound’s like a great book. Now I REALLY want to read it !

It is a great book

Running wild is a fabulous tale about a boy surviving the wild, but more than that; he is learning to rely on animals, trust animals and begins to use his own animal instincts for survival. Through all of his trials there is the impending certainty that he is now an orphan which we, as the reader, are constantly aware of. It seems healing then, that a new and unexpected friendship is born with the very elephant that carried him away from civilisation, and how can it not when he takes care of him so lovingly.
It's one of the best books I've ever read! I love the animal's connections with Will; it's like they're a family. It's great that They care for Will and he returns that love! It just gets you're emotions running high and I really didn't want to put it down!!! I love all of Michael Morpurgo's books bit this is by far the best I absolutely love it!!!
I like the way he describes it, it makes me feel like i'm there with them 'riding on oona, locked up in that dreadful cage, swinging on the vines. It is the best book out of all of the books i've read in my life.I like how Will loves the animals and cares for them so much. I think its sweet how the Oranga-tangs are allways klinging on to Will . I wish the book could go on forever and never end. The minute i saw it i couldnt stop reading.The next book i'm going to read is ...Shadow my sister has read it before she said "IT IS AWSOME !"i cant wait to read it. Michael morpurgo you inspired me so much i want to write children books when i am older. Your the best writer ever. I love your books so much
I loved Running Wild because it was full of adventure and was tense at times. I particularly liked the bit where Will had to climb into the trees and live there with the oranga-tangs. I've read loads of Michael Morpurgo books and this is my favourite so far.
Great book! You should read it! Lots of tragedy but that is in lots of his books. All you need to do is read, read, read, read.