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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A raw and inescapable book of lives as changeable as the sea itself .
Well written in two parts, the first two-thirds of this book is the story of Arthur, a young orphan shipped to Australia in 1947 without family or understanding. He has to leave behind everything he has ever known behind except for a "lucky key" he was given by his sister Kitty until the time they would be reunited, and the song London Bridge is Falling Down in his heart...
Published on 16 Feb 2008 by ELH Browning

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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good beginning but...
This is a book of two halves - as they say. The first half deals with little Arthur's life as he is shipped off to Australia as an orphan and how he fares there as he is put to work on a farm with the other boys. I must admit I found this half great with lovely characters, and I never knew what was around the corner for Arthur as he grows up and finds happiness and his...
Published on 1 Aug 2007 by A reader


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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A raw and inescapable book of lives as changeable as the sea itself ., 16 Feb 2008
By 
ELH Browning "Esther-Lou" (Kingston Bagpuize, Oxon) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Alone on a Wide Wide Sea (Paperback)
Well written in two parts, the first two-thirds of this book is the story of Arthur, a young orphan shipped to Australia in 1947 without family or understanding. He has to leave behind everything he has ever known behind except for a "lucky key" he was given by his sister Kitty until the time they would be reunited, and the song London Bridge is Falling Down in his heart. Although his first sea voyage is miserable and his first years in the outback desperately hard, he grows to love the sea, the Ancient Mariner is his bible, and he becomes a master boat-builder. Life then takes a dive into deep dark water where he flounders for some years before finding `dry land' once again.
The second section of the book has a far more contemporary style: it is largely a diary of one-way conversational e-mails sent back home from the boat on which Allie, Arthur's daughter, returns to England. This is a single handed sailing from Australia to England in her late teens, a sort-of Ellen MacAthur-esque narrative for junior readers -that doesn't pull its punches. It's a long and arduous journey: a grim, cold and wet trip retracing her father's steps, and the highs and lows of Allie's mood on that long solitary journey mirror the towering dangerous waves. It's a triumphant ending though as the story comes full circle and the meaning of the `lucky key' ties into the underlying spirit of the book.
This vivid and realistic story, told in such different voices, interweaves the raw feeling of aloneness with the strength of family ties and raises the question of the importance of tracing who you are and where you came from, while glancing upon on a range of issues such as depression, gambling and cancer that drag you down as well as the things that lift you and give the strength and courage to go on. This raw and inescapable book will make you think and stretch your emotions - the lifes of Arthur and then Allie are as changeable in mood as the sea itself - rich fulfilling blues, dark jagged grey undercurrents & persistent stormy seas.
And if you enjoy this book (the first part in particular) the raw highs and lows of this, then you must try next the incredible Holes by Louis Sachar.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surpasses even Private Peaceful, 4 Mar 2007
By 
andintheend "abal" (Warwickshire, England) - See all my reviews
This is stunning. Having just finished reading it I'm feeling completely wrung-out and I am now on a mission to encourage every child and adult to read it too. The story is wholly compelling and works on so many levels. It's a book that could so easily give in to sentimentality but in Michael Murpurgo's capable hands it never approaches cloying. Instead you've got brilliant storylines with characters you really care about.

This deserves to win every book award it's eligible for. I'm an experienced childrens librarian and I'd say it's comfortably up there in my top five books ever!
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A FANTASTIC Book, 6 Jan 2007
By 
Paul "griffo155" (Biggin Hill, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I haven't read a book in donkey's years and I thought I should start the good habit up again. So I had a look around and bought this one, the best decision I could have made. I wanted something slightly different and this definitely offered that. As soon as I read the first paragraph I knew I was on to a winner. I know it's a cliche but I simply could not put it down I read the first hundred pages in one evening. The book is in two parts the first about Arthur Hobhouse and the second about allie. It gives a true and realistic insight in to the lives of children evacuated to Australia and the hell some had to live. I got slightly worried when I was reading about the conditions he had to live in but it soon picks up. Allie's story is extremly heart warming as she sets out to fulfil her Father's dream. A truely magnificent book and I hope this review encourages you to read it, but you can never get the true meaning from a book unless you read so here is a tip.

BUY THIS BOOK IT IS BRILLIANT.

Thank you

xxx
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tear jerking, eye watering, AMAZING!, 12 July 2012
This review is from: Alone on a Wide Wide Sea (Paperback)
Once again the legendary storyteller, Michel Morpurgo has succeeded. With every page the story grows; with every page the tears run down your cheeks; with every page your heart is filled with joy and also sadness. Once you pick this book up, you know you won't be able to put it down.
So go ahead and read it; it's great, just amazing, BRAVO!

"God save thee ancient Mariner,
From the fiends that plague thee thus!
Why look'st thou so with my crossbow
I shot the Albatross."
Quotation from the ancient mariner

Arthur Hobhouse is an orphan. At the age of six he lives a normal life, but little does he know his world will turn upside down. From the back-braking work and scorching sun of Cooper Station, to Aunty Megg's cozy house (otherwise known as `The Ark') and then back again to Sydney; his childhood home, he travels far. Unfortunately this is where his life begins to fall apart, and his mind begins to crumble. Only Kitty's key keeps him safe; Kitty's lucky key.

On this journey of friendship and love, cruelty and suffering, sea and land; what dangers will he face, what grief will he take, and what pain will he cause?

This book is true to life; it does not ignore death and loss, and so if you are looking for a happy ending you may not find it here. I recommend this book to anyone over the age of nine.

BE WARNED - it contains mildly bad language. But overall it's an amazing book. It's enough to make anyone cry tears of joy and sadness.
Once again AMAZING!

By Herbie
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book done by Morpurgo, 3 Feb 2007
By 
This is probably the best book done by Michael. At the beginning Arthur Hobhouse, a main character, is shipped away during WW2 to Australia. On the boat during sea sickness he meets a character called Marty. They soon become best friends.

They get shipped away to a place called Cooper's Station,a farm where they have to work all day. They soon escape and meet a lady called Mrs. Meggs.

Later on when they are 20 they have a job. They become boat builders and soon become a boat designer. When they are 25 Marty dies. Arthur returns to Mrs. Meggs.

Later in the next few years Mrs. Meggs dies. Arthur is sent away. As she did not make a will her son gets the property.

Arthur just goes an does not do anything. He has nowhere to live and faints.

When he recovers he is helped by a Cretan nurse called Zita. They soon marry and have a child called Allie.

When Allie is 18 she goes on a boat called the Kitty 4 and single handed tries to find her long lost aunt Kitty.

Daniel Howard (9)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excelent, 9 Aug 2009
A Kid's Review
I am an 11 yr old girl who has just read this book and i must say i wish it never ended... it was that good!!! My friend read it before me and lent it to me from the libary... now going to secondry school i have the need to buy it again... 'parts of the story are known to be true'
thnks 4 readin!!!
xx
rebby
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A really wonderful book!! Highly recommended, 19 Oct 2011
This review is from: Alone on a Wide Wide Sea (Paperback)
This is one of the most enjoyable and emotional books I have read in a long time. A wondeful journey. Characterizations were spot on. My son and I read it together and we really were engrossed the whole way. If you enjoy Michael Morpurgo's other books then you definitely should read this one! A real joy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alone on a wide wide sea, 18 July 2011
This review is from: Alone on a Wide Wide Sea (Paperback)
very well written book enjoyed it very much. I found it in a charity shop best book I have ever read 10 out of 10 found it very moving. I would recomend this book to any age group young or old.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing story..., 13 July 2011
This review is from: Alone on a Wide Wide Sea (Paperback)
This story is a story of Arthur Hobhouse an
orphan who is sent to Australia by British authorities, which
actually happened after WWII, they were sent to Canada.

The characters are extremely well written and believable, wait
till you read about Piggy Bacon, what a rotter!!!

The story moves from tragedy to triumph the second part of the
story is centered around a journey by a very brave girl
to solve the mystery surrounding Arthur.
It is a must, i think even better than Private Peaceful!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read at any age!, 27 Jun 2011
I'm not sure of the target age range for this book, but at 33 I'm fairly sure I'm not in it! However, it's one of the best novels I've read in a long time. I had wanted to read a Michael Morpurgo since seeing Warhorse on stage in February and subsequently reading some more about him and his work. I definitely wasn't disappointed.

The plot and characters are strong and the book tackles a lot of mature subject matter. It was also refreshing to read something written in such a clear and concise style which makes the book suitable for younger readers without being patronising for an adult reader. Parts of the book were extremely poignant and I had a tear in my eye which I held back as I was on my evening commute!

I confess that I knew very little about the transport of orphans to Australia before reading the novel and feel sure that many others could gain an insight as I did, albeit that this is obviously a fictionalised version.

As far as I'm concerned, it's a "must read"!
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Alone on a Wide Wide Sea
Alone on a Wide Wide Sea by Michael Morpurgo (Paperback - 4 Jun 2007)
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