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The Fastest Boy in the World

The Fastest Boy in the World

Published: 5 Jun 2014

Paperback / softback, 176 pages

Recommended for age 9+

By Elizabeth Laird

Published by Pan Macmillan

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Eleven-year-old Solomon loves to run! The great athletes of the Ethiopian national team are his heroes and he dreams that one day he will be a gold-medal-winning athlete like them, in spite of his ragged shorts and bare feet. When his grandfather announces that he's going to take Solomon to Addis Ababa, Solomon cannot believe his ears. A trip to the capital? It's unfathomable.

Solomon's joy is increased when he realizes that the Ethiopian running team will be doing a victory parade through the city that day. Maybe he'll get a glimpse of Haile Gebrselassie or Derartu Tulu?!

But Solomon's grandfather has other plans. As Solomon follows him through the big, overwhelming streets, he learns something he cannot believe.

The strict old man is a war hero who once risked his life to save a friend and has been in hiding ever since. When grandfather collapses, Solomon knows that getting help from his village is up to him. It's a twenty-mile run from the city to home, and grandfather's life hangs in the balance.

Can the small bare-footed runner with the big heart do it?

Tagged Africa , Book Band Sapphire , Ethiopia , Olympics and Paralympics and sports

In this interview, Elizabeth Laird talks to Niki Gamble about her experiences in the Middle East and her novel, a House Without Walls.

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A collection of books for Sapphire Band.
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  • The Nowhere Emporium
  • The Good Bear
  • The Spy Who Loved School Dinners
  • The Boy Who Sailed the Ocean in an Armchair
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  • I Was a Rat! Or, The Scarlet Slippers
  • Born to Run
  • A Dog Called Homeless
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  • The Shark-Headed Bear-Thing
  • The Swivel-Eyed Ogre-Thing
  • Stormbreaker #1
  • Murder In Midwinter
  • Darkmouth #1
  • The Imaginary
  • Atticus Claw Breaks the Law
  • Chicken Mission
  • Seal Island
  • Toad Rage
  • Loyal Creatures
  • The Weirdstone of Brisingamen
  • The Imagination Box
  • The Dreamsnatcher
  • Demolition Dad
  • Street Child
  • Moondial
  • Frost Hollow Hall
  • Baby Aliens Got My Teacher
  • My Headteacher is a Vampire Rat
  • Cosmic
  • Thief!
  • Revolt Against the Romans