A spotlight on The Dog Runner by Bren MacDibble

The Dog Runner by Bren MacDibble is one of the six books shortlisted for this year’s Readings Children’s Book Prize.

Here’s everything you need to know about this gripping, action-packed tale touching on the climate crisis.


The Dog Runner is an action-packed adventure with a highly original premise. The narrative moves along at a breakneck pace, and highlights the importance of resilience and kindness in the face of extreme danger. It’s all too easy to envision the harsh landscape of the siblings’ world, and the beautiful relationship between Ella and the courageous dogs is particularly well-crafted. This book is an excellent choice for sophisticated middle grade readers who want something meaty. It’s also a hopeful story for children thinking about climate crisis and what they might be able to do about it.‘

Kim Gruschow, Chair of the judging panel


Who should read this book?

The Dog Runner is suitable for ages 10+. This pick is perfect for kids who like big action and big ideas, as well as kids who are interested in environmental issues, kids who love animals, and kids who want a sophisticated adventure.


Watch out for…

If you haven’t read it already, you should also pick up MacDibble’s first novel for younger readers, How to Bee. It’s about a ten-year-old farm worker who has to move to the big city with her mum, and it won quite a few awards, including the Children’s Book Council Book of the Year Award for Younger Readers.


Meet the author…

Bren MacDibble was raised on farms all over New Zealand, so is an expert about being a kid on the land. After 20 years in Melbourne, Bren recently sold everything, and now lives and works in a bus travelling around Australia. Bren also writes for young adults under the name Cally Black.


The winner of the 2020 Readings Children’s Book Prize will be announced in April. You can read more about this year’s shortlisted titles here.

 Read review
The Dog Runner

The Dog Runner

Bren MacDibble

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 Read reviewThe Dog Runner

The Dog Runner

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Ella and her brother Emery are alone in a city that's starving to death. If they are going to survive, they must get away, upcountry, to find Emery's mum. But how can two kids travel such big distances across a dry, barren, and...

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