Read Shadow by Michael Morpurgo Free Online
Book Title: Shadow|
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 564 KB
v The author of the book: Michael Morpurgo
Edition: HarperCollins Children's Books
Date of issue: September 30th 2010
ISBN 13: 9780007339594
City - Country: No data
Read full description of the books Shadow:Shadow is a book about friendship that spans the UK and Afghanistan. Matt visits his grandfather and tells him about his best friend Aman who along with his mother has been taken to Yarl’s Wood. Aman has lived in the UK for 6 years as an asylum seeker, but according to the Government their time has run out and he has to return to Afghanistan. As Matt is not allowed to visit Aman he persuades his Grandfather, a former journalist to go to Yarl’s Wood detention centre. Aman tells of his incredible journey to the UK.
Aman, his mother and Grandmother are Hazara people, living in the hills of Afghanistan under the constant threat of the Taliban. Aman’s father has been killed some years previously. Aman’s grandmother is desperate that Aman andhis mother should join her brother in England to guarantee their safety. In the midst of this terror and confusion a bedraggled dog arrives at their cave and befriends Aman – he is initially sceptical as dogs are not regarded as necessary in his culture. As they all feared, the Taliban attack them in their cave and Aman’s grandmother is killed. Aman’s mother finds the determination and fortitude needed to leave their country and as they set off, the dog whom they christen Shadow, comes along with them. Aman and his mother face a long and treacherous journey even before they leave their own country. As they cross the border they are robbed and lose everything, but yet again Shadow remains with them. In one of the villages they are hiding in Shadow starts sniffing the ground and Aman realises he has found a bomb – he sees some British soldiers coming towards the area and runs to them alerting them to the bomb. In an amazing coincidence, Shadow turns out to be Polly, an army sniffer dog who has been missing for months. The soldiers welcome Aman and his mother but their stay is tinged with sadness as they know they will have to leave and leave Polly with the soldiers. The pair then face a terrifying journey to the UK in the back of a lorry. Aman has thrived since being in the UK which he sees as his home, he has the same interests as other UK boys of his age, including Beckham and Manchester United. His mother is terrified of returning to an Afghanistan where she would likely face torture and death.
Matt’s grandfather observes first-hand the lack of civil liberties those in the detention centre have and after hearing this extraordinary story realises that morally he has to help Aman and his mother, despite his self confidence being low after his wife’s death. His story is published in the newspaper with a call to protest outside Yarl’s Wood. Initially the protest consists of Matt and his Grandfather but gradually more people arrive including; school friends, family and finally Captain Brodie (who is now a war hero) arrives with Shadow to tell them he has used his influence to ensure that Aman and his mother are allowed to stay in the UK. Shadow and Aman’s story comes full circle and they are re-united outside the detention centre.
The value of friendship is central to this story – that between Matt and Aman, as well as between Shadow and Aman and Polly and CAPTAIN. The other key element is the question of civil liberties, how can the UK class itself as a democracy if it infringes civil rights to such a degree. What are the differences between the Afghanistan regime and the UK government? Apart from War Horse, this is the only Michael Morpurgo book I have read and I was struck by his realistic and honest depiction of the World. He describes awful situations in a compassionate and accessible way without hiding from the truth and asks very big questions. He highlights the importance of friendship and loyalty which are evident throughout the book. The last pages of the book contain author’s notes about the role of sniffer dogs within the British Army, the history of the Afghan conflict and Yarl's Wood
The book is aimed at 8 year olds but would also be enjoyed by older readers. An ideal use of the book would be in a PSHE lesson, children would discuss the value of friendships and loyalty with examples of their own and this could lead onto a conversation about conflict in general. Children could imagine themselves in a dangerous situations and how they would deal with this
Read information about the authorMichael Morpurgo is the author of many books for children, five of which have been made into films. He also writes his own screenplays and libretti for opera. Born in St Albans, Hertfordshire, in 1943, he was evacuated to Cumberland during the last years of the war, then returned to London, moving later to Essex. After a brief and unsuccessful spell in the army, he took up teaching and started to write. He left teaching after ten years in order to set up 'Farms for City Children' with his wife. They have three farms in Devon, Wales and Gloucestershire, open to inner city school children who come to stay and work with the animals. In 1999 this work was publicly recognised when he and his wife were awarded an MBE for services to youth. He is also a father and grandfather, so children have always played a large part in his life. Every year he and his family spend time in the Scilly Isles, the setting for three of his books.
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