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"You never lose your shadow."
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.