Monday, June 2, 2014

All About Middle Grade Reviews: Shadow (ARC)

Shadow by Michael Morpurgo, September 4, 2012. 192 pages. Published by Feiwel and Friends. Source: publisher.
With the horrors of war bearing down on them, Aman and his mother are barely surviving in an Afghan cave, and staying there any longer will end horribly. The only comfort Aman has is Shadow, the loyal spaniel that shows up from places unknown, it seems, just when Aman needs him most.

Aman, his mother, and Shadow finally leave the destroyed cave in hopes of escaping to England, but are held at a checkpoint, and Shadow runs away after being shot at by the police. Aman and his mother escape--without Shadow. Aman is heart-broken.

Just as they are getting settled as free citizens in England, they are imprisoned in a camp with locked doors and a barbed wire fence. Their only hope is Aman's classmate Matt, his grandpa, and the dream of finding his lost dog. After all, you never lose your shadow.
First Sentence:
None of it would ever have happened if it hadn't been for Grandma's tree. 


Have found yet another book  that I read months ago and then, somehow, forgot to review here on the blog. Shadow was one of those books that tugged at my heartstrings because it was about a boy and a dog; and because both almost lost their lives at a couple points.

On many levels, Shadow is a very strong book because it takes a look at those who flee their county in search of safety and a chance to improve their lives, as well, as the struggles they go through not only to get to their destination but to make a new life for themselves. Socially, it is an interesting topic that the author uses in  the book; that of good people doing whatever it takes to leave their war torn country, even, when that means breaking some laws. On the one hand, I'm sure on some level, we all want everybody to obey the laws of each country, but on the other, you feel for those who just want what we take for granted on a daily basis.
    Forgive me, I have gone off on a mild tangent. This book just left me with so much to ponder upon and the story of Aman and his mother was just so heartbreaking. Especially when they were being detained after they had been in England for a few years, and also because I wanted them to have a happy ending after all they had been through to get there.

Like I was saying, there are many, many reasons that I enjoyed reading Shadow by Michael Morpurgo. But what really made this such an interesting read would have to be his writing and how he just pulled you, the reader, right into the world of his characters. There have been few characters that I have felt so deeply about as I did the ones in this book. I really just wanted every one to get the happy ending, even when I knew that there was no way that there could be a truly happy ending for those in the book.

There isn't really anything that I can recall bothered me about this book. Although, the ending was quite bittersweet because while Shadow was reunited with his owner, a military man, and Aman and his mother found some happiness, there was still so much that leaves you with a sad tinged happiness. Well, as we all know, joy and sorrow go hand in hand.

Final Verdict: Shadow- An extremely powerfully written book that I cannot recommend enough.

Shadow earns 4 out of 5 griffins

This book was received in exchange for an honest review.

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