Home > Intermediate Fiction, Junior Fiction > Shadow by Michael Morpurgo

Shadow by Michael Morpurgo

Shadow by Michael Morpurgo. Pub.HarperCollins, 2010.

A lovely story this but then all Michael Morpurgo novels are lovely. This one is very current as it concerns the conflict in Afghanistan with the Taliban.

As always there is an animal in the story playing a crucial role. This time it is a Springer Spaniel named Shadow but as we find out later in the story, her real name is Polly.

Matt is a young English boy who has a friend from Afghanistan called Aman. When Aman and his mother are taken to Yarls Wood detention Centre with a view to being deported back to Afghanistan, Matt enlists the help of his ex journalist grandfather to help out.

What evolves is a story that can apply to many of the world’s refugees who have been through extreme hardship, will be killed if they return to their home country and who are not wanted by the country they seek refugee status in.

Set in Bamiyan Province where the Taliban destroyed those magnificient statues of Bubbha, thankfully I saw them in the 1970’s and they were incredible. The New Zealand contingent in Afghanistan are working in Bamiyan.

Add in a dog who Aman and his family befriend, a dog not found normally in Afghanistan and one who the locals condemn as a “foreign dog”. This dog has a history and becomes crucial to the outcome of this story.

Great story that will help children get an insight to a world wide problem of refugees. We are all human beings aren’t we?

Suitable middle to Intermediate school, but it is such a good yarn older kids would love it too.

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