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English: Runner

About the Book



Teaching resources

About the Author

Born in Townsville, Queensland, Robert Newton now works as a full-time firefighter with the Metropolitan Fire Brigade. His first novel, My Name is Will Thompson, was published in 2001. Since then he has written six other novels for young people, including Runner, The Black Dog Gang and When We Were Two, which won the 2012 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Young Adult Fiction. He lives in Melbourne with his wife and three daughters.


12 Curly Questions with author Robert Newton (Kids' Book Review, 2017, March 28)

Q&A with Robert Newton


Other Books by Robert Newton

Background Information - Richmond

Squizzy Taylor's House at 18 Darlington Parade

Squizzy Taylor's House


Richmond's history (Richmond & Burnley Historical Society, n.d.)

This website provides a detailed history of the suburb of Richmond, from its precolonial past through to the present day.

Images of the streets of Melbourne’s slums

Suburbs such as Fitzroy, Collingwood, Richmond, Carlton and South Melbourne were decrepit and destitute compared to how they are today.  This article includes lots of heritage photos depicting what life was like in Richmond in the early twentieth century.

Richmond (Victorian Places, 2015)

This article describes the history of the suburb, including housing, industry, education, transport, leisure and population numbers.

Living Conditions in Richmond

Background Information - Melbourne in the early 1900's

Marvellous Melbourne: 1910s-1920s (Museums Victoria, n.d.)

This website details some of the main aspects of Melbourne life in the 1910s and 1920s.

Timeline 1910-1920 (ABC Archives, 2002)

This website gives a timeline of some of the most significant events in Australia's history from 1910-1920.

Who was Squizzy Taylor?

Spanish Flu

Spanish Flu in Melbourne

The 1918 Spanish flu pandemic was the most devastating epidemic in recorded history. The outbreak hit Melbourne in December 1918. Local authorities were aware of the devastating effects of the disease in Europe, and took precautions to limit its impact.

Influenza pandemic (National Museum of Australia, n.d.)

The Spanish flu pandemic emerged at the end of the First World War, killing more than 50 million people worldwide. Despite a swift quarantine response in October 1918, cases of Spanish flu began to appear in Australia in early 1919. About 40 per cent of the population fell ill and around 15,000 died as the virus spread through Australia. This article describes what the flu is, how it spread, what precautions were put in place, and how it impacted Australian society.


Prohibition and Sly grog