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‘Boy Overboard’ by Morris Gleitzman

Boy Overboard, by Morris Gleitzman

Age: 9+

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.

Themes: Afghanistan, war, refugees, football, childhood.

About Wright Reading

I am a big fan of children's literature - both reading children's books and also writing my own stories for children. I am currently working on my first children's book, The Springs of Inyani. I am a qualified primary school teacher and have taught at primary schools in London and Hampshire. I am the creator of Creative Beans - creative writing workshops for children. Running these workshops gives me much enjoyment and I always look forward to reading the fantastic stories written by young authors. ( Over the last few years, I have jotted down my thoughts and a short summary of any children's books I read. Given that children and parents often ask me for book recommendations, it made sense to put my thoughts and summaries online. All the reviews listed are my own personal opinion. This is purely subjective so please read with as many pinches of salt as you think necessary.

One response »

  1. Thanks very much. I’m swatting up on the book to help my son prepare a poster for an English assignment. Of course, at the last minute. I am needing to help him clarify his thoughts and stick to the book so this really helped.
    xx Rowena
    PS If you’re looking for a great, emotional read, I’m currently reading “Working Class Boy by Jimmy Barnes. Keep an eye out because he’s touring around doing book signings and we meet up with him locally yesterday:


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