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Shadow by Michael Morpurgo

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Children's Book of the Month

Shadow by Michael Morpurgo
Published by HarperCollins Childrens Books, 2010

Matt visits his grandfather in Manchester for the summer holidays and as a result a whole chain of events come into play to save his friend, a young Afghan boy and his mother from deportation to Afghanistan where they have previously suffered unimaginable persecution.

Aman and his mother are in Yarl’s Wood Detention Centre. They are once again in captivity seeking asylum and fearing for the worst.

Before their life in England, Aman and his mother lived in a cave in the mountains of Afghanistan at the merciless cruelty of the Taliban. The arrival of a thin dirty dog, at their home changes their lives. Aman who felt nothing but hatred for the dog initially, grows to love this animal who is to become their trusted ally in a bid to escape their homeland. He appropriately names her Shadow thinking this dog is not like other dogs but instead is a friendly shadow that does not want to leave him and his mother.

Michael Morpurgo’s book will touch a chord with anyone who reads it as it charts the near deportation of Aman and his mother back to the horrors they have escaped, only to be saved by a lot of luck which is due in no small part to Shadow. The story is of the expected standard from this multi-award winning author Michael Morpurgo whose stories are simple to read but never fail to carry a meaningful message.

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