Running With Ivan by Suzanne Leal | Kids Book Review

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From award-winning author Suzanne Leal comes a gripping timeslip novel inspired by true stories. In Running With Ivan, thirteen-year-old Leo Arnold, yearning to escape the new family he never wanted, is transported to wartime Europe where he must draw on his courage to save himself and those around him.

Thirteen-year-old Leo Arnold hates his life. He doesn’t want a new school, a new house or a new family. And he definitely doesn’t want to be sharing a room with his new stepbrother, Cooper.

What Leo wants is to be somewhere else, far away. So when he uncovers an old music box and turns the key, he is astonished to find himself in Prague, surrounded by whispers and fears of a second world war. A war that ended decades ago.

In Prague, Leo meets Ivan, a Czech boy, and the two become friends. But when World War Two finally erupts, the unimaginable becomes real and the boys are imprisoned. Fearing the worst, Leo and Ivan frantically search for an escape. A search that sends them running.

Running against time.

Running for their lives.

Take a look at the reviews from our Young Readers for Running With Ivan by Suzanne Leal below ⬇️

Book review from Holly, 14

Suzanne Leal’s novel Running With Ivan is a touching story about a young child named Leo. This book follows Leo as his entire life changes, with a new house, a new school, and a new family, none of which he desires. Soon after moving, Leo discovers an old music box that transports him to Nazi Germany. It is here Leo meets Ivan.

This story shows the hardships of being a Jew in Nazi Germany and tells the tale of an epic and unlikely friendship between two boys born decades apart.

I would definitely recommend this heartwarming novel.

Running with Ivan book review

Book review from Ellen, 13

If you’re looking for a book about a friendship that spans time and continents, then this book is for YOU!

We are introduced to Leo, a 13 year old boy who hates his life. He has to adjust to a new family dynamic when his father marries again. Although he likes his new step-mum, his step-brothers make his life very difficult.

Leo is angry, upset and frustrated by this new family he has had no input in. “Why can’t things go back to how they were before?”

Running with Ivan by Suzanne Leal book review

Then he discovers his mum’s old music box, he turns the key and is transported back in time, to Prague, just before World War II is about to start! Leo meets Ivan (a Czech boy) and their mutual love of running ensures they become great friends. When WWII finally erupts, so does a dangerous adventure. The boys are incarcerated!

Full of twists and turns, their race to escape will keep you guessing and give you a new perspective on what is really important in life.

Thanks to Kidspot and Harper Collins for the excellent reading experience!

Book review from Fin, aged 11

The book is about a boy Leo who hates his life, especially sharing a room with his new step-brother. He is depressed all the time so spends his days going running or hiding away in a room in the garage.

One day he finds an old music box. When he turns the key he is surprised to find himself in Prague in 1934 with whispers of a war that ended years ago.

Leo feels scared until he meets a Czech boy called Ivan and they quickly become friends. But when World War 2 finally occurs something unimaginable happens, the boys are imprisoned. Fearing the worst. Ivan and Leo must now run for survival.

Running with Ivan book review

There are twists and turns in this book that make you want to keep reading until the very end.

If you love history and adventure then this book is for you. I absolutely loved this book and have already recommended that my friends read it.

Grab your copy of Running With Ivan now!

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