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Runaway: 1 (Starlight Animal Rescue) by [Mackall, Dandi Daley]
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Runaway: 1 (Starlight Animal Rescue) Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Length: 217 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

Product Description

A new series by Dandi Daley Mackall, author of the best-selling Winnie the Horse Gentler series!
I've run away seven times—never once to anything, just away from. Maybe that's why they call me a “runaway,” and not a “run-to.”
Meet 16-year-old Dakota Brown. She used to love all things “horse” until she lost everything, including hope. The minute she sets foot on her foster parents' farm—Starlight Animal Rescue—she plans her escape. But can an “impossible” horse named Blackfire and this quirky collection of animal lovers be the home she's always dreamed of?
Starlight Animal Rescue: Where problem horses are trained and loved, where abandoned dogs become heroes, where stray cats become loyal companions. And where people with nowhere to fit in find a place to belong.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 336 KB
  • Print Length: 217 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale Kids (Sept. 1 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #471,802 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is about a teenage girl, Dakota Brown, who is a foster kid. She has run away from many other foster homes and before she even gets to the Coolidges farm, Starlight Animal Rescue, she has begun to form her plan to run away. At the farm she meets a runaway horse and they understand each other well. As Dakota works with the horse, which she renames Blackfire, she begins to learn about love, God, horses and why she always runs away. Another great read. This book also includes a bit Winnie the Horse Gentler, through e-mails that Dakota writes to the pet help line, which was great because I wasn't ready to let her go yet!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I found this was a very good story of a you girl who always wants to runaway due a having a history of family break-up
without to much love and the feeling of being a person, until she is placed with this family were she was given love and time for her to learn and understand the true signs of love with in a family.
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Books are great. enjoyed every one of them to the fullest extent and have recommended them to other family and friends.
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Awesome Thanks
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9f78df48) out of 5 stars 180 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e31706c) out of 5 stars Great read for all-ages Oct. 13 2008
By Wendi Barker - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Perfect for : Personal reading, Great gift book for child/young adult

In a nutshell: A gentle, charming book filled with learning opportunities, hope, faith, love and family. Once I picked this book up, I found it refreshing in its simplicity and it's faith-centered attitude. No pushy preaching here - but something a child/young adult/adult/parent can read and enjoy, while getting a sense of peace, happiness . . . and family. Dakota Brown has been from foster-home to foster-home, never fitting in, never staying long. She is brought to the Coolidges farm, where she meets a wonderful family who help her see that she might be able to be part of a family after all! It was great to watch Dakota make choices that affected both her and those around her. The families reactions always surprised her, as they put people above posessions. Throughout the book, choices are made, some good - some bad, and there are consequenses to help reinforce growth and learning.

My Review:
This book is about Dakota Brown, a 15 year-old girl who has already been to seven different foster homes. Now she is being taken to the eighth foster-home by Ms. Bean, her social worker. From the get-go, Dakota is planning to run-away, and plans to enlist the help of Niel, another kid who has been lost in the foster-system for so long he plans to leave for good.

Dakota uses her list-book to help keep some sort of control of her life. The book lincludes many 10-Reasons Why . . . lists (Why I Don't Like. . . Why Horses are Better Than Cars . . . , etc).

Ms. Bean feels that Dakota might do better with a change of pace, so takes her to Nice, the small community where the Coolidges live on their farm Starlight Animal Rescue. Dr. Annie and Chester "Popeye" Coolidge are loving parents to both their natural son Hank, and two other foster-children Kat and Wes. Each memeber of the family has a significant impact on Dakota, helping to ultimately help her make the best choices for both herself, and the family.

Not everything in the story is perfect (which wouldn't be realistic). One member is fighting a serious illness, and one has ties to a troubled parent. Dakota makes many mistakes in her first two weeks (crashing Popeye's and Hank's truck, stealing money from the Pet Adoption canister), but through these mistakes, she learns valuable lessons and comes to learn that she has found people to care for, who love her for herself. Could this be the family she has secretly yearned for?

Characters: I encourage you to come meet the people who cheer for Dakota when she successfully gets her driver's permit (she admits never knowing a time when someone has cheered for her, what can I say - I felt like cheering as well), who help her learn to be part of a team, who teach her to be responsible and care for someone/something else (Blackfire the horse has a special transformation that is entirely thanks to Dakota). The characters, both human and animal, are wonderful. Each has a personality that is used by the author to help with growth within the family. I truely loved each character.

Story-Line: I think the story-line was great, especially considering the age group most likely to read the story, those around 9-12 or so years old. Kids will be able to relate to the characters' feelings and actions, even if they aren't a foster-child themselves. It will help kids to look at how their actions affect others, and that they can have a positive impact on people and animals through their choices and how they treat others.

Readability: This was a very easy-to-read story for all ages. Even though it is written as juvenile fiction, it is all-ages appropriate. It made me smile and walk with a lighter step.

Overall: A great book, written with a Christian influence (not over-powering, more inspiring and hope-filled). This is sure to be a favorite book/series for both kids and parents.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e3171f8) out of 5 stars Great new series Oct. 6 2008
By JenniferB - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Mackall has created a cast of quirky, loving characters and a family that I wouldn't mind being part of! When confronted with the love of God as expressed through this new family and a horse that desperately needs her care, Dakota's life begins to change. Her adoration for horses, previously only cerebral, becomes hands-on. Like many horse-girls before her, Dakota falls hard for all things horsey.

I read the carefully described interaction and communication between the various rescue animals and their human caretakers with fascination. Mackall's experience as a horsewoman comes through in the detailed descriptions of the budding relationship between Dakota and the previously abused horse, Blackfire. A parallel relationship between the Coolidge's soon-to-be-adopted foster daughter Kat and her charge Kitten provides similarly detailed behaviour for cat-lovers.

I've never considered myself a horse enthusiast, only having ridden twice in my life, yet the scenes that kept me blazing through this book were of the budding relationship between horse and rider. Apart from the scenes of animal companionship, Mackall weaves a sweet tale of transformation. As the wounded minister to the wounded, hearts soften, open, and blossom.

This is one title I chose not to read aloud with my children. While not at all inappropriate, some of the themes presented are beyond the ken of my five-year-old. The complex issues of abandonment, emotional wounds and abused animals would be potentially disturbing for my little girl, but are perfect for the target age group. Another point of interest for parents is the absence of the youthful romance that titles for young teenagers can often be overrun with - a blessing in my opinion.

This combination of themes would seem depressing if it weren't for their collision with the unconditional love of God as expressed through the Coolidge family. God is in the ultimate rescue business, and the Coolidges are eager to partner with Him in His plans for these discarded children and animals. Annie and Chester (otherwise known as Popeye) Coolidge are so warm and quirky that I can't wait to know them better through upcoming titles in this new series. I'm making a mental note of these titles for when my children reach their early teens.

Runaway is a winner and should be included on the fall reading lists of any horse loving girl, but don't avoid this series if your child is male or doesn't have a penchant for horses. From taking a peek at future titles, the main character and animal in each title will rotate through the human and animal inhabitants at Starlight Animal Rescue - girls, boys, horses, cats and dogs.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e4a6828) out of 5 stars LOVE this series!!! Feb. 25 2010
By Nyah D. Mackeller - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is part of a wonderful series about a farm family that not only fosters at risk children, but also runs an animal is OUR family! We have four adopted kids and are very active with special needs dog rescue. This is an awesome series book and teaches compassion and nonjudgement. The whole family can enjoy these books...I've even read them. For an adult, they don't take long and they're an easy read...for kids, they're challenging enough but also have a great story line to keep interest...HIGHLY recommend!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e81330c) out of 5 stars Wonderful beginning to the series June 25 2014
By garfsgirl - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful beginning to the Starlight Animal Rescue series. The main character, Dakota, is 16 years old but I think both tweens and teens would enjoy this book. I was surprised but glad that the author portrayed a youth in foster care as her main character. Having worked with this group of youth before, I totally connected with Dakota's attitude of just wanting to run away, putting on a game face until she could leave, and trying not to get too attached to anyone. Other readers might think she's hard to like but I really felt for her since she had no sense of permanency. Just like the author's other books, the supporting cast of characters are unique and funny, especially the foster parents (I wish there were a lot more foster parents like them!). Since I don't know much about horses, I always feel like I learn so much about horses and their behavior whenever I read Ms. Mackall's books. For those who read the Winnie the Horse Gentler series, you'll be happy to know these two series are connected. The foster family, the Coolidges, are related to Winnie's friend Catman Coolidge. Also, the kids email Winnie and Catman for advice about horses and cats. There were some pretty humorous moments and pretty touching ones, too. I really loved the Bible verse that finally spoke to Dakota about how much the Father loves us that He calls us His children because that is what we are! How it must speak to a child who longs for a father's love and a real family! On a side note, there is a helpful section at the end of the book on "tips for finding your perfect pet." I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to any tween/teen.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e49f6d8) out of 5 stars A Beautiful Tale July 18 2014
By Semmie - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
** “Most of what we do, we can’t pay back,” said Popeye. “That’s why we need Jesus,” Kat whispers. **

Dakota Brown is an almost-16-year-old foster kid who has managed to run away from seven foster homes and is already planning on how to run away from her eighth. What she doesn’t count on, though, is how much she actually enjoys being with the Coolidge family.

Chester Coolidge and his wife Ann, an oncologist, have turned their home into a bit of a rescue — for both animals and kids. Dakota is their third foster child, joining their son Hank and foster kids Wes and Kat. They also care for animals in need of homes and rehabilitation, including horses — which Dakota loves.

“Runaway” by Dandi Daley Mackall is a sweet story about learning to trust and learning to both give and receive love. Dakota must learn these lessons with the help of the Coolidges and an extremely abused horse, Blackfire. And, most importantly, she must learn to trust Jesus.

While rewind this book, you’ll laugh; you’ll cry. The characters are so sweet and yet facing real problems. Even though this book is meant for children ages 8-12, “kids” of all ages will enjoy reading it. A great start to a series that is sure to be fun and meaningful.

Five stars out of five.