Boy Overboard, by Morris Gleitzman
The is one of my favourite books from when I taught Year 4 Literacy.
It is a gripping story of an Afghan family who must flee Afghanistan due to the Taliban’s oppressive rule. The Taliban laws make it illegal for girls to play football or even be outside without covering their faces.
This book is written from the point of view of a 10 year old boy called Jamal. Jamal desperately wants to save his family from the life-threatening danger of the Taliban and he is determined to fix problems that are far beyond his control.
Jamal’s family are forced to leave their home in Afghanistan and embark on an intrepid adventure to Australia where they hope to find peace and safety. Alongside hairy escapades of dodging bombs and facing pirates, Jamal is determined to save the day through his unlikely football plan.
Boy Overboard gives vivid insight to life in Afghanistan; the effects of war; and what life is like for refugees fleeing the country.
By writing in the first person and in the present tense, Morris Gleitzman makes Boy Overboard a compelling read for even reluctant readers.