Kristilyn (Reading In Winter)'s Reviews > Shadow

Shadow by Michael Morpurgo
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's review
Jan 22, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: read-in-2012

I will admit it. The selling point for me for Michael Morpurgo’s novel, Shadow, was the dog on the cover. If the dog was just a little more brown, than red-brown, it would look just like my little dog, Gracie. Oh, and it’s a story about a dog — easy sell for me.

Of course, once I actually cracked open the book and started reading, finding myself bawling part-way through, I knew Michael Morpurgo had a winner on his hands. This is a serious story about some heavy stuff.

Just to refresh your memory, Michael Morpurgo is the author of War Horse, which has just been released in film version. Not being a horse person, I doubt that the movie would be my cup of tea, but if Shadow was made into a movie, I would see it in a heartbeat.

Shadow is the story of a young boy, Aman, who lived in Afghanistan. He and his mother flee to England once they realize that they cannot stay in their country anymore. As they’re on their journey, they meet Shadow, a springer spaniel who immediately befriends them. The story is told by the point of view of Aman and is heartbreaking and hopeful.

This was a wonderful, wonderful read. It’s more of a middle grade book, so it only took me a few hours to read (I’m a slow reader — I’m sure it would take other people a whole lot less time to read!). There are a few illustrations in the book, black and white pencil drawings, and I loved looking at each and every one of them, seeing pictures of Shadow, or pictures of Aman.

I appreciated the notes at the end of the novel, where Morpurgo talks of the inspiration for the story and gives a little more information about Afghanistan and about wonderful dogs like Shadow.

A great book to teach the value of friendship, what it takes to move people and get what is deserved. It is also a history book, teaching readers about warfare, in layman’s terms. If you’re looking for a book that I can’t give enough praise for, something that’s beautifully written, give Shadow a try — just make sure the tissue box is nearby!

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