Finding Gobi by Dion Leonard
Angus and Robertson, 2017. ISBN 9780008244521
(Age: 10+) Highly recommended. Dogs, Utra marathon, Running, Companionship, Non fiction. Subtitled: The true story of one little dog's big journey, this book will have kids and adults reading it from cover to cover. It begins in the Gobi Desert, where runner and author, Dion is about to run the Utra marathon across the 155 miles of desert in six days. With heat of sometime 140 degrees, and little shade, the race is grueling. Dion has not raced for some months because of an injury and is unsure about how he will cope with this one. But in the crowd is a little dog and it seems to take a liking to Dion. The first leg sees the little dog running all the way with him, keeping at his side across the desert. That night, it snuffles up against Dion to sleep and it is named Gobi. The dog remains with Dion throughout the whole marathon, and seems to act as a talisman for Dion to keep on going. When the race finishes, Dion is unsure of what to do, and leaves her with one of the volunteers. Back in Edinburgh he and his wife decide to bring her home, but find that the dog has escaped. With the help of crowd funding, Dion travels back to China and with the help of a large number of volunteers again, finds the little dog. The story then becomes one of finding the correct authorities to sign the papers to get her home.
This heart warming read will enthrall its readers, following the course of action taken by Dion in rescuing his dog. Heart in the mouth situations occur in which the reader is unsure whether the dog will be found, but a look at the photos in the middle of the book, will satisfy readers that the dog does indeed get home to Edinburgh.
Along the way we learn much about Ultra Marathons and what impels people to run these, and life in China some 1800 miles west of Beijing, a different world from the one we usually see in books, and we are shown the power of the Internet and crowd funding, a mind boggling tool in our modern era.