We look forward to seeing you on your next visit to the library. Find a location near you.

The boy who runs: the odyssey of Julius Achon

Book Cover
Average Rating
New York : Ballantine Books, [2016].
Physical Desc:
xvi, 248 pages : color illustrations ; 25 cm
Belle Cooledge
BIOGRAPHY Achon, J. 2016
BIOGRAPHY Achon, J. 2016
Rio Linda
BIOGRAPHY Achon, J. 2016
In the tradition of Uzodinma Iweala’s Beasts of No Nation by way of Christopher McDougall’s Born to Run, 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.
Advance praise for The Boy Who Runs
“Brant proves again why he is one of our best sportswriters, masterfully weaving a compelling narrative of an African country at war, along with the transformation of a young man from athlete to humanitarian. . . . [Achon’s] life story is a shining example of the Olympic spirit.”Booklist (starred review)
“Fantastic . . . Brant does a beautiful job of chronicling the tension. . . . Indeed, his work is first-rate throughout the book, and it makes for a read-in-one-sitting story.”Publishers Weekly (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
“This is an astonishing story about an amazing athlete who outruns not only the grinding poverty and deprivation of the Ugandan bush but brutal war and imminent death, then dedicates himself to saving his family and friends. This man has the heart of a lion. I couldn’t put this book down.”—John L. Parker, Jr., author of Once a Runner
“An instant classic . . . John Brant has given us an epic, moving, and ultimately hopeful story about the power of sport and friendship to transcend boundaries and make the world a...
Also in This Series
Call Number
Belle Cooledge
BIOGRAPHY Achon, J. 2016
On Shelf
BIOGRAPHY Achon, J. 2016
On Shelf
Rio Linda
BIOGRAPHY Achon, J. 2016
On Shelf
South Natomas
BIOGRAPHY Achon, J. 2016
On Shelf
More Like This
Other Editions and Formats
More Copies In LINK+
Loading LINK+ Copies...
More Details
First edition.
9780553392159, 0553392158
Reviews from GoodReads
Loading GoodReads Reviews.
APA Citation (style guide)

Brant, J. (2016). The boy who runs: the odyssey of Julius Achon. First edition. New York, Ballantine Books.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Brant, John, 1951-. 2016. The Boy Who Runs: The Odyssey of Julius Achon. New York, Ballantine Books.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Brant, John, 1951-, The Boy Who Runs: The Odyssey of Julius Achon. New York, Ballantine Books, 2016.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Brant, John. The Boy Who Runs: The Odyssey of Julius Achon. First edition. New York, Ballantine Books, 2016.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
Staff View
Grouped Work ID:
Go To GroupedWork

Record Information

Last Sierra Extract TimeNov 19, 2023 12:50:40 PM
Last File Modification TimeNov 19, 2023 12:50:52 PM
Last Grouped Work Modification TimeNov 27, 2023 02:08:36 AM

MARC Record

LEADER01390pam 2200397 i 4500
001  2016009316
008160601s2016    nyua          000 0beng  
010 |a 2016009316
020 |a 9780553392159
020 |a 0553392158
040 |a DLC|b eng|e rda|c DLC|d NjBwBT
042 |a pcc
043 |a f-ug---
049 |a JRSA
05000|a GV1061.15.A34|b B73 2016
08200|a 796.42092|a B|2 23
1001 |a Brant, John,|d 1951-|e author.
24514|a The boy who runs :|b the odyssey of Julius Achon /|c John Brant.
250 |a First edition.
264 1|a New York :|b Ballantine Books,|c [2016]
300 |a xvi, 248 pages :|b color illustrations ;|c 25 cm
336 |a text|b txt|2 rdacontent
337 |a unmediated|b n|2 rdamedia
338 |a volume|b nc|2 rdacarrier
60010|a Achon, Julius.
650 0|a Runners (Sports)|z Uganda|v Biography.
650 0|a Child soldiers|z Uganda|v Biography.
907 |a .b24321886
932 |a BIOGRAPHY Achon, J. 2016
945 |y .i7443763x|i 33029062834494|l cooag|s -|k |u 13|x 2|w 0|v 4|t 3|z 08-10-16|o -
945 |y .i74489343|i 33029101881548|l rioag|s -|k |u 11|x 0|w 0|v 3|t 3|z 08-22-16|o -
945 |y .i74489355|i 33029101881555|l carag|s -|k |u 6|x 0|w 0|v 4|t 3|z 08-22-16|o -
945 |y .i74489367|i 33029101881563|l natag|s -|k |u 14|x 0|w 0|v 12|t 3|z 08-22-16|o -
998 |e -|d a |f eng|a car|a coo|a nat|a rio