Shadow

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Last updated 3 years ago

Discipline:
Language Arts
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Book Reports
Grade:
5

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Shadow

SHADOWBy: Michael Morpurgo

Matt’s grandfather and Matt, who he was visiting for the summer, were swinging on a swing and looking at the stars. This made Matt think of his friend Aman. Aman and his mother were locked in Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Center. Aman and his mother had applied for asylum in England six years ago. Aman and Matt attended Belmont Academy where they became best friends. Grandpa, Matt and there Spaniel ”Dog” visited Yarl’s Wood but, only grandpa was admitted. During this and many following meetings, Aman told the story of his escape from Afghanistan and trip to England.

Summary

Theme

After Aman’s grandfather was killed by the invading Russians, and the Taliban blew up the city they were living in, Aman and his mother fled to caves in eastern Afghanistan. The caves were crowded and little food was available. One afternoon a thin, injured dog came to the cave seeking food as she was very thin and covered with sores. Aman fed, bathed, and cleaned the dog’s wounds. When night fell and mother and grandmother were asleep, the dog ventured into the cave and slept by Aman. The dog came and went and thus became known as Shadow. Mother’s brother wanted the family to join him in England but grandmother was too old and weak to travel. The Taliban soldiers came to the cave, threatened them, and knocked grandmother to the ground. Grandmother survived for only a few days after that. Then, Aman and his mother left on foot with all their possessions – a donkey, family jewelry, and a little money from Uncle Mire. Shadow joined them and led the way.When they reached Kabul, they had to cross a police barrier where the police were mean and hostile. The police stole the money, the jewelry, and even the donkey, and then shot at Aman and his mother. Aman and his mother walked, walked, and walked, and were cold, hungry, and tired. They got a ride in a truck but soon they were back to walking. Shadow led the way but suddenly stopped, eyeing one spot ahead. Aman saw soldiers who walked toward them and toward Shadow They calling, “ Polly, Polly.” Shadow did not move and the soldiers knew that she was pointing out a roadside bomb. The soldiers disarmed the bomb. Sergeant Brodie told Aman that Polly/Shadow was the best bomb sniffing dog ever. The soldiers took Aman and his mother to the base where the soldiers fed and clothed them. Several days later when they left the base, the soldiers gave them some money and put them on a bus. The rest of the journey, through Iran, Turkey, across the Black Sea, and northwest through Europe to England, was very difficult and scary.

Aman first appeared in the book as a six year old in Afghanistan. He was frightened but brave and concerned about his mother and grandmother. Six years later we saw him in a prison camp awaiting deportation. He was very frightened and depressed. He only seemed happy when he was talking about his experiences at Belmont Academy and his football team.Matt’s grandfather was a retired newspaper journalist. He visited and talked with Aman, and wrote a newspaper article to get support to keep the English government from sending Aman and his mother back to Afghanistan. Grandfather was caring and cared for Aman and his mother and wanted to help them.Shadow was a bomb sniffing dog whom Aman befriended.Sergeant Brodie was an American soldier who befriended Aman.Matt was a 14 year old classmate of Aman and played on Aman’s football team. He was also Aman’s best friend and worked with his grandfather to try to halt Aman’s deportation back to Afghanistan where he fears Aman would be killed.Matt’s grandfather, and Matt, who he was visiting for the summer, were swinging on a swing and looking at the stars. This made Matt think of his friend Aman. Aman and his mother were locked in Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Center. Aman and his mother had applied for asylum in England six years ago. Aman and Matt attended Belmont Academy where they became best friends. Grandpa, Matt and there Spaniel ”Dog” visited Yarl’s Wood but, only grandpa was admitted. During this and many following meetings, Aman told the story of his escape from Afghanistan and trip to England.

Characters

Shadow is an excellent book, and it is fast moving, The story holds your attention since you become involved with the characters and the overall story. This was partly true because the story was an account of things happening in our world today. The book Shadow made me aware of the problems faced by people living in areas of the world where the Taliban is a threat. I also liked the book because of the friendship between Aman and Matt, and the role Shadow played throughout the book.

Recommendation

Settings

The setting began in England and remained there. The main character Aman was in England when he was telling Matt’s grandfather about his travels. However, the settings of the travels began in Afghanistan and changed as Aman and his mother traveled on foot, by bus, truck, boat, horse, and trailer through Iran, Turkey, and northwest through Europe to France and finally to England. Then the events again take place near Matt’s grandfather’s home and Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Center.

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