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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 15 April 2011
This is a wonderful story which captures the complex web of relationships and situations facing a group of very different people who have one thing in common: the courage to fight for freedom. Nowhere is this seen more strongly than in the relationship between a boy and a dog, namely, Shadow.
The book illustrates the fear and terror of living in Afganistan under the hidden yet often open threats of the Taliban for the young boy Aman and his family. But when Aman is befriended by an unusual Springer Spaniel who is in need of nursing for her wounds the life of his family is about to change forever.
Be prepared (perhaps more so if you are an adult) to shed a few tears; I certainly did. Michael Morpurgo is willing to open chidren's eyes to the reality of the world, to the love and caring that people can show for one another and with their animals. Yet he does not hide them from the cruelty, hostility and sheer indifference that others seem capable of inflicting on their fellow travellers through life. The power of the scenes in this book, whether in the caves of Afganistan or the detention centre in the United Kingdom lies with your imagination, which Michael Morpurgo stimulates in every chapter.
There are hidden depths in this narrative which not only provides a wonderfully rich story, but which also should force one to think about two very different societies, which nevertheless are populated by similar kinds of people. The illustrations are great and support a powerful story.
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on 27 February 2011
I bought this book for my 11 year old daughter and she absolutely loved it. She subsequently bought the book to give away to a friend as she had enjoyed it so much,
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on 17 March 2011
I really enjoyed this Michael Morpurgo book; his best to date. This book is mostly suited to teenagers, ie( 13- 15) younger children may find this book sad in parts. The story is told by three characters, Matt, Grandpa and Aman. The story is mainly set in Afghanistan. Aman, his Mother, and his Grandma are living in their Afghan cave when a springer spaniel arrives out of nowhere. Aman and the dog soon become close; he decides to call her Shadow. They soon flee from Afghanistan to England because of the war. After six years of living as Asylum Seekers, they find themselves on the brink of being sent back to Afghanistan; living in a detention centre.
Who will help them? Will it be Grandpa and Matt?
This book also helps us to understand Afghan culture and their attitude towards dogs. It also gives more of a insight to the Brtish Forces working in Afghanistan.
One of the things I enjoyed about this book was the fine level of detail he used throughout. The images are realistic.
Overall the book was a great read, a must buy.
Well done Michael Morpurgo.
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on 28 January 2011
I chose this book as Christmas reading, and I've really enjoyed it. I have read a lot of Michael Morpurgo's books, but personally this is my favourite so far. The book, Shadow, is written from the point of view of three different people: Matt (an English boy), his grandfather and Aman (who is from Afghanistan). Aman, his mother and grandmother are living in their Afghan cave when a `thin and war - ravaged' Springer Spaniel (Shadow) appears. Aman and Shadow grow close. When Aman and his mother set off to England (after his grandmother's death); Shadow leads them all the way to Kandahar on the Iranian frontier. Here they find Shadow's true owner. Aman really seems to love Shadow and becomes `a second son' to her owner. When Aman is forced to say goodbye to Shadow he is devastated. I think it shows how well - written this book is, in that I felt Aman's loss keenly. Aman and his mother make it to England following a terrible journey and are allowed into the country as asylum seekers. After Aman and his mother had been living in the country for six years, they are told they will have to leave for Afghanistan. Matt and his grandfather are outraged by this, and decide to try and dissuade the authorities from this course of action. However, when they've lost hope some great news arrives with Shadow and her owner! This book really moved me and I recommend it for people aged 11+ I think the story is definitely written for children, but I don't think there is any reason why adults wouldn't enjoy it. Before I read this book I'd never even heard of asylum seekers, but now I feel sorry for people in this situation. They've been driven from their country and need a new place to live and, as this story shows, that isn't always easy. In the back of the book there is a `post script' giving a little more information on the war in Afghanistan, Yarl's Wood (the immigration removal centre where Aman and his mother are sent) and Army sniffer dogs. So as well as this being a great story, it is also very factual and made me appreciate how lucky I am. This is another brilliant book by Michael Morpurgo and I hope this review helps you to make a decision about whether to read the book.
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on 3 November 2010
Michael Morpurgo is an amazing author who never fails to deliver a meaningful storyline that instantly captures the reader's imagination. His endings never disappoint and always hold something special. A firm favourite with children and adults alike. The illustrations in Shadow are stunning and really add to the reader's enjoyment of the book. Terrific!
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on 26 November 2010
This book was excellent it gave another view of the war in Afghanistan, how it effects the afghan people especially the old and young. It also shows how important the army dogs are and how intelligent they are. My granddaughter (11yrs) and I(+65) really enjoyed it and it is now being read by my grandsons (11 & 13 year olds).
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on 16 December 2010
I have read this book to my class of ten and eleven year old children in Perth, Western Australia. I wanted my students to have an understanding of the plight of refugees. Australia itself is a nation of immigrants and a fair potion of them are refugees of a sort, escaping some sort of persecution. The Boat People issue has become a divisive political debate in Australia and I needed a story that the children could relate to give them an idea of what it must be like for so many refugees around the world. This is a world wide issue and yet it seems that many Australians don't realize just how fortunate they are. To appreciate that many people leave their countries because it is too dangerous for them to stay. This helps them to imagine what it must be like for so many people around the world. To understand that millions of people are displaced with no chance of a future and that this is a global problem. That Australia is not the only country with asylum seekers coming to it's shores. That many children are imprisoned as if they are criminals. When I read this story my students were transfixed and I know that I didn't need to do any more than simply read the story to them. I am hoping that when they hear another anti Boat People slogan in the media that they will pause and view the plight of others with compassion. So thank you Michael Morpurgo. This book is a powerful tool that will help a generation understand what it would be like to walk in the shoes of these people.
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VINE VOICEon 17 August 2013
I bought the audio CD format of "Shadow" so that I could listen to it whilst driving.

Just 3 CDs in length, it's a manageable length. Well read, in a Manchester accent, it kept my interest throughout. Note that the title and the image on the cover are a little misleading - whilst the dog "Shadow" is entwined with the story of Aman, the main (human) character, this is Aman's story, not Shadow's. If you are looking for a book about a dog, try the brilliant "A Dog's Purpose: A novel for humans".

This is the story of Aman and his mother, both Afghan refugees, how they came to arrive in the UK and the fight to allow them to stay. It's believable, topical, and fairly gritty. It certainly kept me interested, and it does work your emotions. However, I did also find it predictable, particularly towards the end (although I do tend to be pretty good at predicting endings, so it may not be obvious to everybody).

I'm not sure what age group this is intended for, but it could be very good for starting discussions about many topical issues with children, probably from early secondary school age.

This is the first book by Michael Morpurgo that I have listened to. I don't think it will be the last.

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on 21 November 2010
I bought this book for my nine year old son who, although a competent reader, is quite picky about what he wants to read. He'd already read Born to Run by Michael Morpurgo and really wanted this one...couldn't wait for the paperback! He really enjoyed it and was completely engrossed in the story - he reads in bed before lights out and this book was finished in a few evenings. The five stars is his rating. We'll definitely be buying more Michael Morpurgo books.
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on 6 July 2011
This book was really really really good! It is my favourite book ever. It only took me five days to read, I couldn't put it down. I would recommend this book for ages 10-12.
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