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Extended Audio Sample The Boy Who Runs: The Odyssey of Julius Achon, by John Brant Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: John Brant Narrator: Fred Sanders Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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This is the inspirational true story of the Ugandan boy soldier who became a world-renowned runner, then found his calling as director of a world-renowned African children’s charity.

“Julius can’t remember who first saw the men. He heard no warning sounds—no dog barking or twig snapping. Until this point, events had moved too swiftly for Julius to be afraid, but now panic seized him. In another instant, he realized that his old life was finished.”

Thus begins the extraordinary odyssey of Julius Achon, a journey that takes a barefoot twelve-year-old boy from a village in northern Uganda to the rebel camp of the notorious Lord’s Resistance Army, where he was made a boy soldier, and then, miraculously, to a career as one of the world’s foremost middle-distance runners. But when a devastating tragedy prevents Julius from pursuing the gold at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, he is once again set adrift and forced to forge a new path for himself, finally finding his true calling as an internationally recognized humanitarian. Today, Julius is the director of the Achon Uganda Children’s Fund, a charity whose mission is to improve the quality of life in rural Uganda through access to healthcare, education, and athletics.

While pursuing his destiny, Julius encounters a range of unforgettable characters who variously befriend and betray him: the demonic Joseph Kony, a “world-class warlord”; John Cook, a brilliant and eccentric U.S. track coach; Jim Fee, an American businessman who helps Julius build a state-of-the-art medical center deep in the Ugandan bush; and finally Kristina, Julius’s mother, whose own tragic journey forms the pivot for this spellbinding narrative of love, loss, suffering, and redemption.

Written by award-winning sportswriter John Brant, The Boy Who Runs is an empowering tale of obstacles overcome, challenges met, and light wrested from darkness. It’s a story about forging your true path and finding your higher purpose—even when the road ahead bends in unexpected directions.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “An epic, moving, and ultimately hopeful story about the power of sport and friendship to transcend boundaries and make the world a better place.”

    Daniel Coyle, New York Times bestselling author

  • “In this fantastic biography, Brant does a beautiful job…and it makes for a read-in-one-sitting story.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “A compelling narrative of an African country at war, along with the transformation of a young man from athlete to humanitarian…[This] life story is a shining example of the Olympic spirit.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Inspiring…Achon’s difficult journey as an athlete and humanitarian reveals how sport can provide a valuable avenue of hope for those seeking to rise above tragic circumstances.”

    Library Journal

  • “With breezy, accessible prose, Brant’s profile incorporates African history and insider details on the physical demands of race-running, strategies for success, and how Achon personally paved the way for others like him to succeed with pride and humanitarianism both on the track and in everyday life.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “The details of his harrowing childhood form the backdrop of this painful coming-of-age story narrated in a rich, deep baritone by Fred Sanders…Sanders’ narration captures the chaos and confusion of Julius’ younger years,,,[and] moves the listener from Julius’ past to the present with ease. This emotional story captures the triumph of human resilience.”

    AudioFile

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