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The Wreck of the Zanzibar

3.69  ·  Rating Details ·  1,568 Ratings  ·  88 Reviews
In 1907, fourteen-year-old Laura, living with her family on one of the stormy Isles of Scilly, records in her diary how her dream of participating in a shipwreck rescue is finally realized.
Hardcover, 80 pages
Published September 1st 1995 by Viking Juvenile (first published January 1st 1995)
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Community Reviews

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Hulaimat Iyabo
Nov 25, 2012 Hulaimat Iyabo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Michael’s Great-aunt Laura has just passed away and the family are on their way home to the Isles of Scilly for her funeral. In her will, Great-aunt Laura has left him her precious diary and he later finds out why it was so dear to her. The diary dates back to when Laura was a young girl and of her troubled family life, which led to her twin brother running away to sea. This event devastated young Laura as she felt alone and lost without the closest person in her life.

One day, Laura finds a lea
...more
Felix the
The name of the author is Michael Morpurgo, the title of the book is The Wreck of the Zanzibar and it's fiction. The author has won the children award for books. The book is adventure, mystery and realistic fiction. My mom gave me a choice of some book I should read and I choose this one.


The story takes place in Zanzibar. The central characters are Billy and Laura. The characters challenge is to finds Billy. The characters do not change through the story. The general plot is that they lost Billy
...more
Anne Hamilton
Oct 20, 2012 Anne Hamilton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The island of Bryher is bleak and barren. Laura's father, a harsh and taciturn man, has turned his son Billy against island life with his incessant demands. Billy wants to see the world outside. Laura just wants to crew the island gig but her father is adamant in his refusal. No girl on any of the Scilly Isles has been an oarsman on a gig and no daughter of his is going to be the first.

When it comes to a choice between the rough, unrelenting work under his father's stern eye and the promise of a
...more
Mathew
I'm usually fine with not a lot happening in a story but this didn't work for me when I read it. On saying this, discussing Billy's adventures would be exciting for children and perhaps the simple and rather dull aspect of life on the Scilly Isles at the turn of the 20th century was a true reflection. I liked the idea that the story closes with Michael, just as it opened with him. Morpurgo does this A LOT - a story within a story.
I thought the opening was lovely and the chapters are brief with
...more
Alison
Aug 29, 2008 Alison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Wreck of the Zanzibar by Michael Morpurgo a great read. Laura Perryman lives on Bryher Island and her dream is to use a rowboat but unfortunately, it's just not the thing a girl should do in the early 1900's. But Laura is still determined to achieve her dream and when a wrecked ship and a ferocious storm give her the chance to do this and save the island, she takes it.
This book is another one of Michael Morpurgo's wonderful short reads. I recommend The Wreck of Zanzibar to someone who is fan
...more
Titilope
Jun 25, 2011 Titilope rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was forced to read this book in Year 6. My school had two year 6 classes, and we both had to read a Michael Morpurgo book for reasons unknown. Anyway, the other class got to read Kensuke's Kingdom and we were stuck with this.

To put it simply; it's not really the most enjoyable book for an 11 year old. Pretty stale.
Discoverylover
A friend of mine has expressed interest in reading these, so I'm reading them to give to her next time I see her. I enjoyed this one! It was interesting to read one that wasn't set during a historic event as such, and it was nice having no clue what was going to happen next!
Sarah
Dec 21, 2014 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read because I will be using this book in my classroom as part of our 'Storms and Shipwrecks' topic. I very much enjoyed this book. The main character is really interesting and very believable in her actions. Looking forward to seeing how my children will react to this book. Would recommend.
Bilyana
Jan 10, 2016 Bilyana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: already-read
LIKE
LOVE
BOOKS
M. MORPURGO
Shannon ➰
Jan 18, 2016 Shannon ➰ rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s
I still love Michael Morpurgo's children's books but I was expecting more from this one, there wasn't much going on. Still a nice story though.
Jenna Mills
A lovely tale and I like a happy ending.
Laura
May 14, 2017 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-2017
I really liked a lot Michael Morpurgo's Shadow book and that's why I picked The wreck of the Zanzibar book from a library. I think I had too high hopes for this story. This story wasn't bad but it was pretty average for me.
Jack
Jun 07, 2017 Jack rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was very interesting book and adventures. I highly recommend this book and would read it again.
Ms Gold
Mar 20, 2017 Ms Gold rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Wreck of the Zanizbar is a wonderful book to get you hooked in reading Michael Morpurgo. He uses the story of Laura and her life on the Scilly Islands to help readers learn about the importance of family and of never giving up hope when times are tough. He includes conflict among the family members as well as a natural disaster to keep the reader interested in knowing what will happen next. Some of the characters go through surprising changes as the story unfolds.
John Von
Mar 20, 2017 John Von rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Wreck If The Zanzibar was a good book. My favourite bit was when Billy came back.
Tim Armstrong
Mar 18, 2017 Tim Armstrong rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another historical novel from Morpurgo and again another fantastic book. But Morpurgo doesn't write bad books, or at least not the ones I've read!
Laurie
Apr 17, 2011 Laurie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: children from 7 on up; particularly reluctant readers
Shelves: boy-s-reading
As is often the case with Morpurgo's books, this deals with those themes children find emotionally difficult but which nonetheless happen to them: loss, hard times, difficulties with society, difficulties with parents. Morpurgo is always great at writing a cracking good story with these elements in a sympathetic way that doesn't talk down to children. The book is comprised mainly of the diary of a great aunt inherited by a young woman. The diary covers those years when ships still went under sai ...more
Jono
Feb 17, 2017 Jono rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this short novel all the more after visiting Bryher in the Isles of Scilly last year. A lovely read for anyone, but even better if you've visited.
Bunty
Jan 12, 2015 Bunty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Wreck of the Zanzibar
Michael Morpurgo
Nonfiction
Rate: ****
"The Wreck of the Zanzibar" is an intriguing story is about a young girl who's brother, Peter runs away from their home island. He escapes with one of his friend to be a cabin boy on a cruise ship he met one day on the dock. Sophie has never seen her mother smile since Peter's disappearance, neither her dad has spoken to her. The night of a huge, terrifying storm changed their lives from bad to worse. The two dairy cows are the only w
...more
Andrew
Jun 30, 2015 Andrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Michael 'War Horse' Morpurgo tells the short but dramatic tale of Laura Perryman, & her twin brother Billy, & their struggles with both the tetchy adult world & the harsh & often unforgiving environment of their native Isles of Scilly - more particularly, Bryher - in the Edwardian era, by way of her diary, read in the present day by her grandson, Michael. I like the way in which Morpurgo brings the generations together through the prism of 'lost' history,& this 100-page novel ...more
Danye
May 23, 2016 Danye rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
Morpurgo has always been one of my favourite authors! He is the reason I started reading "big books" as a child and he is the one who helped me progress through the reading levels at school all those years ago.
Morpurgo deals with themes and emotions that are difficult for children to understand in such a way that is helpful and, in some sense, comforting. This book is no different.
It is a marvellous short tale, perfect for children who are just starting to read "big books" or for parents who are
...more
Mari Anne
Mar 03, 2014 Mari Anne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mg-ya
Read this sweet story aloud to Aidan over the course of two afternoons. I adore Michael Morpurgo and think that he writes beautiful stories. I am not so sure that kids would agree with me about this one. This one had a beautiful "Old Man and the Sea" vibe to it. It was short and sweet and to the point but also lyrical and poetic. With a lack of action and the old-fashioned setting, it would take a special child to really appreciate it. Aidan (age 8) thought it was just"okay"and I think it was ma ...more
Anthony Burt
Jun 16, 2014 Anthony Burt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A brooding tale about a young girl who lives on a small island in the Scilly Isles, this is Mr Morpurgo at his best. Peeled back prose, to the point storytelling, lovely characters and a gorgeous, epic-like storyline.

After Laura's brother leaves for adventure on the high seas, she and her family are left destitute. With no food, storms and sickness biting at them, Laura's salvation is two-fold: finding a huge turtle on the beach she can help and the wreck of a ship called The Zanzibar.

I won't sa
...more
Den
Aug 27, 2011 Den rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In his great-aunt's will Michael is left her diary. It tells of her life as a young girl when her brother falls out with the family and runs away to sea, after that their cows fall ill and storms destroy the island. Just as they are giving up hope and planning to leave the isle Laura finds a turtle washed up on the beach. He is a good listener and she tells him all her problems and between her and her gran they manage to feed him and get him back to the sea. It is as if he was a good luck talism ...more
Sigourney
Feb 12, 2013 Sigourney rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I didn't read many of Morpurgo's books when I was younger, I was much more interested in reading Little Women, Grimm's Fairy Tales and The Chronicles of Narnia but I absolutely adore him now; his writing is simply wonderful and The Wreck of the Zanzibar is a brilliant novella. (view spoiler) ...more
Helena Duggan
Mar 12, 2013 Helena Duggan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book in about 3 hours. It's small, a short tale about a family that lives on the island of Scilly. I picked it up because, as I visit a lot of schools promoting my own book, I've heard Michael Morpurgos name echoed constantly through the classrooms of south east Ireland. This fella must have something, I thought...so I went and bought his box set. This is a lovely family tale, with what I thought was the right balance of happy and sad...his writing style is to be admired and I can se ...more
Elizabethm
Sep 07, 2011 Elizabethm rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: michael-morpurgo
It was in a form of a diary and how the writer wrote it felt as if I were really there
Sumrary: it was abut the life of a girl when her brother leves with a man called Joseph hanibal
On his ship the general Lee the girl has an adventure when a turtle washes up on the beach.
Main characters:granny may grandmother
Mom girls mother
F. Father girls father
Billy girls brother
Laura girl
Joseph hanibal mean person owns ship called general lee
I liked the book because ilike reading diary types of books
Willie Zhang
Mar 01, 2016 Willie Zhang rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My first Morpurgo book and I cringed in the end because it was so beautifully well-written. I originally read this in the 3rd Grade as a part of school work and I had no idea how much I would fall in love with Morpurgo's books. Torrents of nostalgic feelings surge through my body when I am reminded of this book in particular. Those care-free days back in elementary school where I could just repose comfortably on a couch with the gentle breeze blowing, while savoring that copy of a Morpurgo book ...more
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i want to read the wreck of the zanzibar 3 11 Apr 10, 2012 08:24AM  
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Michael Morpurgo is the author of many books for children, five of which have been made into films. He also writes his own screenplays and libretti for opera. Born in St Albans, Hertfordshire, in 1943, he was evacuated to Cumberland during the last years of the war, then returned to London, moving later to Essex. After a brief and unsuccessful spell in the army, he took up teaching and started to ...more
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