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Boy Overboard

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  2,596 ratings  ·  205 reviews
A story of adventure, ball control and hope.

Jamal and Bibi have a dream. To lead Australia to soccer glory in the next World Cup.

But first they must face landmines, pirates, storms and assassins.

Can Jamal and his family survive their incredible journey and get to Australia?

Sometimes, to save the people you love, you have to go overboard
Paperback, 181 pages
Published by Puffin (first published August 1st 2002)
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Harrison she says I will go get the ball that proves that she is so stubborn
Talia First open the book then start reading. One you finished get a different book

And that is how you read the book

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Average rating 3.74  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,596 ratings  ·  205 reviews

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Nov 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Maybe I've read this book at least a dozen times before.
And maybe my copy is coming unglued from the spine from the number of times I've read it and the number of times I've flipped to the title page to see the authors signature and dedication ('G'day Amy!')
And maybe it's written for 8-10 year olds.
And maybe it's primary purpose is to explain to children the horrifying plight of asylum seekers, and attempt to humanise an issue that xenophobic assholes spend all their efforts dehumanising.
And may
Dec 23, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
We had to also read this for school. I honestly thought it was extremely boring. WHy do we have to study it in year seven when we were all reading it back in grade 4????
Maria T :)
Nov 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Morris Gleitzman is so awesome!!

I loved Boy Overboard!!
4.5 stars
Dec 07, 2012 rated it did not like it
Had to read this in Year 8 English. I remembered we all called it 'Boy OverBORED'
I personally didn't like this book and found it quite boring. Even my English teacher did...
Apr 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very good story that will make any person want the laws about refugees to be changed.
Mar 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book holds a special place in my heart, as I read it when I was a child and it was the first book I’d ever come across about refugees. I’d never known much about refugees and as a 7 year old Australian kid this book helped me connect in a way that has shaped my beliefs since then and influence the adult I am now. Definitely holding onto it so I can pass it on to the younger people in my family.
May 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
WOW just wow
Feb 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Boy overboard is a good book. It wasn't my favorite book ever but it was quite a good book.
It probably is the the best refugee book for school years 5 to 7 .
All in all the book was ok.

The funniest part was when jamal got kicked on the leg by the pirate because he took the ball away from the pirate.
So this is what happened jamal,bibi,rashida and omar were kicking a ball about and then the a pirate tried to kick the football but then jamal snached the football away from the pirat
Watermelon Daisy

Boy Overboard was a story I had to read in English.

Truthfully, I loved the idea of the story. A family breaking all the rules –things that in Australia we do everyday– and have to run for survival. It seemed like such a wonderful plot. And honestly, I did like how Jamal and Bibi used soccer as a sort of escape from their horrible lifestyle.

However, the writing style just ruined it all. No commas, just short sentences. I found myself having to read some sentences over again, because since the len
Jun 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gleitman got in a bit of trouble with Amanda Vanstone when she was immigration minister over this and its sequel. She thought children should be able to retain their childhoods unfettered by adult politicking. She didn't intend that remark to apply to the kids she incarcerated, however.
Sarah Waters
Dec 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
So many great discussion points and in our current climate would be a great novel to read to spark a discussion on refugees.
In typical Gleitzman style, the issue of refugees and Australia's immigration policies is dealt with so that young readers gain a good understanding of the situation.
Jul 29, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The character are infuriating, the plot line is awful and the whole writing style is for 3 year olds. I usually like stories about refugees but this one is no good
Jayne Pixton
Jun 07, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I hated this book so much.. I had to read it for school and almost fell asleep every time it was english.. one of the worst books i have read in my life
Gypsy Bishop
Jun 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a good and fairly education a book and I enjoyed every bit of it, there where definitly some cliffhangers that left me on the edge of my seat. However the end of the book was also and cliffhanger and for me that was a bit disappointing but kind of fine because I just imagined a happy ending.
So my final thoughts are recomend it unless you don't like cliffhangers.
The Teacher's Library
This is the third time I've read this book. The second time aloud, but the first time to a grade 4 class.

They were obsessed - we flew through this and there were so many incredible discussions that arose from it!
Noah O'Keeffe
Aug 07, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Boy Overboard, written by Morris Gleitzman and published by Penguin, is not a bestseller - thank God - and was not made into a film. It was first released in 2002. The book is about a family who is forced to flee their country due to a corrupt government wanting them dead.The themes that this book has tried to achieve are kindness, refugees and sympathy.
The book has only managed to achieve one of those themes, being refugees. This book was written to express sympathy for the people that have f
Ellie Brown
Apr 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: five-stars
I forgot just how good this actually was.
Aug 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In the book Boy Overboard we are told about two children, boy and girl who want to lead Afghanistan to win the football world cup, the government in Afghanistan does not allow to girls to play football: “Girls playing soccer is a big crime I say. Almost as big as Mum and Dad running illegal school at home. If the government finds that note, Mum and Dad are in serious trouble.”p.9
Their mother is a teacher, and like the government does not allow to play football the government does not allow to wo
Mar 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I decided to read this book. Again because of my intermediate friends. My intermediate friends showed me the book I then read the blurb at the back and I started to like what the book was about so I issued the book.(In the library of course) I liked the book because it was adventurous with some scary momements when the main character and his family are near death situations. The book is addicting because you want to never stop reading. The story makes you want read more and more. The book is abo ...more
Sarah Jane
Jun 05, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I did not enjoy this book.
I understand what the author is trying to do but I personally do not agree with it.
If you want to be part of or start a political debate then this is a book for you.
I read this as my Grade 7 boy had to read it for English so to help him with his assignment I thought the best way would be for me to read the book. So I read it. Basically written and easy to read for its designed aged group. I read it in an hour.
I understand the refugees flight, I understand that as an
Shane Harcombe
Jan 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A fantastic book that has been so relevant for Australian audiences ever since it was published. It contains a great story line, fantastic characters in Jamal & Bibi, excitement, humour, sadness and relevant issues for readers to think about.

It is a great way to interest reluctant readers, as well as raise the issues of societal freedoms, how lucky we are in Australia, the plight of asylum seekers and the impact of our policy decisions.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough. I think it i
Sep 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book in one go, just couldn't put it down. This is the story of a family that has to flee Afghanistan to save their lives. They desperately try to make their way to Australia, as many other refugees, with little money and at the mercy of ruthless human traffickers. While the writing style didn't blow me away (but I could imagine younger readers appreciating the short sentences and straight forward style), the plot did. This book makes surely a great accompanying read-aloud to any uni ...more
A beautiful story told from the innocent perspective of a young boy. As he did in his 'Once' books, Gleitzman captures the voice of a kid trying to make sense of the chaos around him.
Jamal, his sister Bibi and their parents flee the Taliban with the intent to seek asylum in Australia.
I listened to the Bolinda Audio book, which was read by Gleitzman. His voice was wonderfully expressive and gave the story another dimension.
Jan 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm a teacher and have read this book several times with my grade sixes (10-12 year olds). It is extremely well written. Year after year I have seen the impact it has on the life of children that read it and the way their point of view about refugees and asylum seekers changes. A must read! This is one of my favourites.
Mar 02, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: middle-years, grade-6, own
An interesting story from the PoV of an Afghani refugee to Australia. Would be great for exploring the way people live differently around the world. There are some concepts in the book that would not be appropriate for most primary aged kids, but could be skipped without destroying context in the story (ie the taking of girls and the implied reasons).
Rachel McCarthy
I did like it a lot - when I was eight. I know there are some teens and adults who enjoy reading good, classic children's books, but I don't think this book holds up for older audiences. But for the record, I found it REALLY interesting! When I was eight.
Jan 22, 2012 rated it liked it
I was a little disappointed in how this book was written. There was very little emotion conveyed. However, I got hooked on the story and ended up having a few tears.
A brilliant way to highlight the stormy-waters ahead for a refugee fleeing persecution...
Monish P
All I can say is, we are pretty lucky!
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Morris began his writing career as a screenwriter, and wrote his first children's novel in 1985. His brilliantly comic style has endeared him to children and adults alike, and he is now one of Australia's most successful authors, both internationally and at home. He was born in England in 1953 and emigrated to Australia in 1969 so he could escape from school and become a Very Famous Writer.

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