Shadow

( 41 )

Overview

Author of War Horse, and bestselling storyteller Michael Morpurgo touched our hearts with this beautiful story of a boy, his lost dog, and the lengths he would go to be reunited. This timely story of battle-scarred Afghanistan delivers a masterful portrait of war, love, and friendship.

With the horrors of war bearing down on them, Aman and his mother are barely surviving in an Afghan cave, and staying there any longer will end horribly. The only comfort Aman has is Shadow, the ...

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Overview

Author of War Horse, and bestselling storyteller Michael Morpurgo touched our hearts with this beautiful story of a boy, his lost dog, and the lengths he would go to be reunited. This timely story of battle-scarred Afghanistan delivers a masterful portrait of war, love, and friendship.

With the horrors of war bearing down on them, Aman and his mother are barely surviving in an Afghan cave, and staying there any longer will end horribly. The only comfort Aman has is Shadow, the loyal spaniel that shows up from places unknown, it seems, just when Aman needs him most.

Aman, his mother, and Shadow finally leave the destroyed cave in hopes of escaping to England, but are held at a checkpoint, and Shadow runs away after being shot at by the police. Aman and his mother escape—without Shadow. Aman is heart-broken.

Just as they are getting settled as free citizens in England, they are imprisoned in a camp with locked doors and a barbed wire fence. Their only hope is Aman's classmate Matt, his grandpa, and the dream of finding his lost dog. After all, you never lose your shadow.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Shadow is the perfect book for classroom teachers looking for a contemporary tale of the old, sad story: war’s devastating ramifications for everyone, including children." —The Horn Book

"Morpurgo humanizes the asylum story through one refugee boy’s viewpoint." —Booklist

* "Heart-rending and heart-affirming." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"Shadow succeeds in evoking empathy and inspiring readers to take a stand for their beliefs." —School Library Journal

Publishers Weekly
Morpurgo (War Horse) fuses the devastation of war, anguish of the refugee experience, pain of losing loved ones, healing power of friendship, and redemptive influence of a dog's loyalty in this multifaceted novel, first published in 2010. The author also effectively balances three narrators: Matt, an earnest British 14-year-old; his best friend Aman, who escaped to England from Taliban-occupied Afghanistan six years earlier and is now awaiting deportation; and Matt's compassionate grandfather, who uses his skills as a journalist to fight Aman's deportation. Aman's flashbacks to life under the Taliban (who killed his father, imprisoned and tortured his mother, and blew up his home) and to his arduous flight to England with his mother make up the novel's most harrowing passages. At its emotional core, though, is Aman's relationship with Shadow, a remarkably intuitive spaniel with a surprising past that wanders into his family's cave in Afghanistan and guides Aman during their escape. Despite many sobering plot elements, the novel's subject matter never overwhelms Morpurgo's streamlined storytelling and subtle characterizations. Ages 10–14. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Uma Krishnaswami
Whitbread winner and UK Children's Laureate, Morpurgo (author of The Mozart Question, War Horse, and numerous other titles) brings his own touch to the subject of war and oppression in developing countries. Unlike many other oppression narratives, however, that tend to be relentless and pedantic, this one is interesting in both style and structure, its shifting viewpoints and brief chapters offering young readers several ways to look at such stories in the real world. The novel opens in the voice of Matt, who is worried about his friend Aman, a refugee from Afghanistan who has now been taken with his mother to Yarl's Wood, an "immigration removal centre" in Bedfordshire. As Matt tells the story to his grandfather, urging him to help, we encounter Grandpa's voice, and then, in turn, Aman's. But it is the tale of Aman and Shadow, the bomb-sniffing dog he left behind in Afghanistan, that carries the energy of the novel and pulls the reader along. As a result of this clever framing of oral narratives, there is never any doubt that young Aman is the one with voice. The fact that he tells the story imbues him as well with agency, as does his single, quiet gesture that leads first Grandpa and then Matt to take action. The Taliban in Afghanistan and immigration enforcement in England are both antagonistic forces. The resolution is aimed squarely and joyfully at the middle grade reader. Deceptively simple, elegantly constructed. Reviewer: Uma Krishnaswami
School Library Journal
Gr 4–8—Friendship transcends cultural and generational differences in this deeply moving novel. It's been six years since Aman and his mother escaped a nightmarish existence under the Taliban regime in Afghanistan for a better life in England. However, their request for asylum is denied, and they're sent to an immigration detention center to await deportation. After several appeals for release go unheeded, they begin to lose hope. Aman's best friend, Matt, shares the tragic details with his journalist grandfather in the hope that he'll visit Aman and write an article garnering public sympathy. Grandpa visits Aman, and after a tense start, gets the boy to open up. At the heart of the story is Shadow, a bomb-sniffing dog for the British army who becomes attached to Aman in Afghanistan after being separated from her unit. Shadow's presence reassures Aman and his mother, as they trek from their village to Kandahar, where they are miraculously reunited with the dog's unit. The memory of Shadow's resilience buoys the teen and his mother as they continue their arduous journey to England. As he did in War Horse (William Morrow, 1983), Morpurgo displays keen sensitivity in using the intense bonds between young people and animals to relate the devastating impacts of war. A useful postcript provides facts about the war in Afghanistan, the real-life Yarl's Wood detention center in Bedfordshire, and bomb-sniffing dogs. Shadow succeeds in evoking empathy and inspiring readers to take a stand for their beliefs.Lalitha Nataraj, Escondido Public Library, CA
Kirkus Reviews
Two 14-year-old boys, one Afghan and one English, find friendship with each other and with two exceptional dogs. Aman and his mother have fled the horrors of life under the Taliban for asylum in England, only to face deportation six years later. His best friend in school and on the soccer fields is Matt, an English boy spending the summer with his grandfather and his grandfather's dog, Dog. Morpurgo tells the story through the voices of Matt, his grandfather and Aman. In the beginning, Matt convinces his grandfather to visit Aman, who is being held in Yarl's Wood, a detention center. His grandfather continues the story, gently persuading Aman to recount what happened in Afghanistan and during the long, treacherous journey to England. The grandfather then organizes a demonstration to protest the deportations, receiving help from sympathetic ministers and an exploding volcano. The titular Shadow is a spaniel, a sniffer dog, trained to alert soldiers to roadside bombs, and she just about steals the story. The dog had bonded with Aman after being separated from her British army unit. Morpurgo has long championed the plight of children and animals in wartime and here ably succeeds in dramatizing the far-reaching repercussions of the decades-old war in Afghanistan. Humanity triumphs over evil and bureaucracy in this heart-rending and heart-affirming story. (postscript, background information on Yarl's Wood and sniffer dogs) (Fiction. 9-14)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781250039965
  • Publisher: Square Fish
  • Publication date: 1/14/2014
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 52,117
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.60 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Morpurgo, a Member of the Order of the British Empire, is the author of over 100 children's books, including An Elephant in the Garden. His recent bestseller here and in Britain, War Horse, debuted on Broadway in 2011 and is now a film by Steven Spielberg.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 41 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(32)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 41 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 27, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A touching book based on a true story

    Shadow is a touching book based on a true story. I think all ages from 7 and up will like it! There is a boy called Aman who lives in a cave in Afghanistan with his mum and something horrible happens to his grandma! One day a springer spaniel comes to his cave and Aman relizes that he is more than just a dog, like a friendly shadow.My favorite part of the book was when Aman was telling his story to Matt's grandpa Mir. It was so sad and touching.I recommend this book to anyone who is fond of animals and this book is suitable for girls and boys.
    I loved this book and I'm sure you will as well!

    11 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 27, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Shadow Book Review

    This book is all about a boy named Aman and the story of his life. He was living in a cave in Afghanistan until something really bad happened to his grandma. Then a dog that they later will call Shadow came and led him and his mother to a very nice a man called Sergeant Brodie. He takes Aman to the English army base to take care of his heel blister. Aman and his mother keep on traveling to England and uncle Mir. He is waiting for Aman and his mother. The story is also about Mat and his grandpa and how they are helping Aman.
    I really enjoyed this book because it was based on a true story. In bits I didn't want to carry on reading because what was happening made me feel so sad and angry. I recommend this book to all the people that like books by Michel Morpugo. Now Shadow is one of the best books i have read.

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 4, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Shadow

    This book is about a boy called Matt who has a best friend called Aman who lived in Afghanistan with his mum, grandma and dad. Many sad accidents happened to him and his family. Then Aman went to England to see his uncle and live with him. That is when he meets Matt and he goes to school with him.Then he has to stay in a jail type of place before he goes back to Afghanistan and the adventure begins.

    My favourite character in this book was the dog (Pollie) because she is very clever and she can sniff out bombs and always knows where to go. Shadow is a good dog because whenever people chase her off she always comes back.


    I enjoyed this book because there were lots of adventures. Also I like stories about dogs. I also enjoyed reading about what happens in Afghanistan and the army finding all the bombs and defusing them.

    I recommend this book to anyone who likes adventures, army and dogs because there are many army men and camps and also a few dogs and adventures all around Afghanistan.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 27, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Shadow is a surprising, exciting and sad book and when you read it you will definitely enjoy it thoroughly.

    In this interesting story, a young boy named Aman, who is struggling to stay in England, will do anything it takes to help not get deported back to Afghanistan. So his best friend Matt and his grandfather have their reputation put at stake.
    The most exciting and best part of this book is the mass protest to help Aman and his mother stay and live their lives like any other human being.
    If you've ever read a Michael Morpurgo book you are sure to love this thrilling and emotional story.
    Shadow is guaranteed to entertain.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 4, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A very touching story

    Shadow is a touching and exciting story. Its about a boy called Aman who lives in Afghanistan, when lots of Taliban come they take his father and kill him. So Aman with his Grandma and his mum barely have any food and everyday, Aman has to walk down the mountain and goes to the well to get water for them for the day. One day when Aman's grandma and mum are asleep a little wounded Cocker Spaniel comes in the cave and sits next to Aman. So he healed her wounds and washed them. So for a long time day after day the dog comes when the rest are asleep and sits on Aman's lap so he decides to call her Shadow like a shadow that follows you.

    If you want to find out more you should go and read this spectacular book which will make you want to read more books by this author. My favourite character in this book was Aman because he went through so much like how he went in the lorry and playing with Ahmed and all these other things. I really like this book because it was really interesting to read and a bit happy and sad so it is a big change of events in few of the parts.

    I would recommend this book to anyone who likes dogs and a very exciting story that is fun for all the ages.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 25, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A very sad and touching story...

    The book Shadow is a very sad and touching story. It is about a boy named Aman from Afghanistan. But there are many bad people that want to hurt him. So he and his mother decide to move to England to live with his uncle Mir, where it is safe. Unfortunately there are still some bad people in England that want to send him back.
    My favorite part is the ending. I don't want to to spoil it, but I can say when I read it I was so sad in a happy way. I felt like crying because it was so sweet what his friend Matt did for him.

    I recommend this book to older kids (8-up) boy or girl. I think even adults would enjoy reading it. I think if you are a nice, caring person that wants to learn more about poor people in other countries, Shadow is the perfect book for you. Even if you just want to read a nice book about poor kids or just a book that will make you smile. Read Shadow.

    By Madison, CISGrade5

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2014

    Shadow is a suspenseful, adventure filled book. I would recommen

    Shadow is a suspenseful, adventure filled book. I would recommend it to people who like action and suspense, and also love and caring. I liked this book because it takes you on an adventure and shows you how the people in Afghanistan were being treated during war. I also liked it because it shows a connection and bond that cannot be broken, nor forgotten, even over a 7 year span.
    Shadow is a book about a Bamiyan boy who just wants to live in England with is mother and Uncle Mir. Aman, the little boy, and his mother escape Bamiya in hopes of being free, but one they actually do make it to England and live there for 6 years, they have to leave for an unknown reason. Now Aman and his mother are relying on a classmate, Matt and his grandfather to free them from the detention center. They are also relying on them to keep them from going back to Afghanistan.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2013

    This is one of my favorite books. It is a very depressing sad bo

    This is one of my favorite books. It is a very depressing sad book. Author of War Horse, and bestselling storyteller Michael Morpurgo touched our hearts with this beautiful story of a boy, his lost dog, and the lengths he would go to be reunited. This timely story of battle-scarred Afghanistan delivers a masterful portrait of war, love, and friendship. With the horrors of war bearing down on them, Aman and his mother are barely surviving in an Afghan cave, and staying there any longer will end horribly. The only comfort Aman has is Shadow, the loyal spaniel that shows up from places unknown, it seems, just when Aman needs him most. Aman, his mother, and Shadow finally leave the destroyed cave in hopes of escaping to England, but are held at a checkpoint, and Shadow runs away after being shot at by the police. Aman and his mother escape—without Shadow. Aman is heart-broken. Just as they are getting settled as free citizens in England, they are imprisoned in a camp with locked doors and a barbed wire fence. Their only hope is Aman's classmate Matt, his grandpa, and the dream of finding his lost dog. After all, you never lose your shadow. This was a really good book, because it is like a roller coaster of tears, this is a very emotional book and with them in hiding makes things worse. Aman can’t even mingle with his friends because of the war. In conclusion, this was a tremendous book to me because all the dramatic events that happens in this story. This is one of my favorite books. It is a very depressing sad book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2012

    Shadow

    I think Shadow is an inspiring story about how people can turn things around. I really enjoyed this book because It showed me that things is that situation could happen. I will buy more books by Michael Morpurgo, now that I have read this book.
    I happily give this book a 5-star rating

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2012

    Flamepelt to leader URGENT

    A muscular firet orange tom with purple eyes pads in. I will mae a deal with ur clan we have two warriors with powers including me and many other warriors we r sunclan our leader sunstar we will aid your clan in anything but u must also help us i few things. Pls come to ipod touch result one and say u need to maake a pact come and ill explain to them we shall hopefull meet.

    - Flampelt lead warrior of sunclan

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2012

    Nova

    Rong clan very sorry

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2012

    Headlessrider to appleleaf

    "Ah dear child it is not wise to make enemies so quickly" i spat, and then padded away stopping at the tree line "maybe you should think about your loved ones safety first" and then completely dissapeared into the trees.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2012

    Cat

    The cat jumped down from a tree. "No..."

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2012

    Omnifoot

    I just died in dark meadows (game) the witch killed me. But its a good thing i never really die. They kill me rip me apart but then i just end right back in bed. I think the witch is just trying to protect me by keeping me from the boss.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2012

    All people from shadow clan read this

    You guys hav convos on its not a phone but you guys do watever i read the whole thing and yea but its awkward

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2012

    Freckletail

    Ocean blaze, i guess we have something in common.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2012

    Kit

    The kit stumbles in amd collapses
    Kit

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2012

    Autumnstar IMPORTANT

    New camp at 'detectiv mystery' ~Autumnstar :3

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2012

    Oceanblaze

    Im afraid i must quit rping. Srry, im just two pre-ocupied. *pads to streakfeather and licks the top of his head* you remin me so much of your father. I hope you follow in his pawsteps. He cose yor name..but i did name you after your dead sister. (This farewell is the same in lemonclan) Silverpaw, since you ere INCORECTLY named by the wrong cat of authirity, I officialy, in th name of Starclan, namr you Silverlife. Let no one stand in your way...no matter how many insults they hurl at you. *glares at autumnstar* oh andplease tell everyone that oceanblaze is dead. Everyone, as in warrior books and clan books and such. I think many rpers kne me at one time...thank you. Thi clan was a bless from starclan. (Im gonna miss u guys...bye bye

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2012

    Thistlepaw

    Anyone on?

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