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Morris Gleitzman was born in Lincolnshire and moved to Australia in his teens. He worked as a paperboy, a shelf-stacker, a frozen chicken de-froster, an assistant to a fashion designer and more before taking a degree in Professional Writing at Canberra College and becoming a writer. He has written for TV, stage, newspapers and magazines but is best-known for his hugely succesful children's books.
In this sequel to Boy Overboard, Jamal and Bibi are now imprisoned in an Australian refugee camp. The story focuses on two school friends who get involved in the Afghani family’s plight through a penpal scheme. Bridget is the daughter of an endearingly criminal family that makes its living out of shady imports, mainly from ex-Eastern bloc countries. They save up to send her to the ‘best’ school where she teams up with Menzies, another outsider who just happens to be the son of the government minister responsible for refugees. When the two exhaust all legitimate ways of getting Jamal and Bibi out of the camp, they resort to-you’ve guessed it-a bit of desperate tunnelling. This is Gleitzman’s winning blend of outrageous adventure and droll humour (there’s plenty here for adults too). As usual it is a vehicle for his serious and empowering message to children-that in the face of injustice, the actions of an individual can make a difference. Upper-primary and lower secondary-level readers know what to expect from a Gleitzman novel and will welcome this new addition. Gail Mahon C. 2004 Thorpe-Bowker and contributors
Gr 3-6-Coming from a family of criminals has taught sixth grader Bridget the skills she needs to survive one of Australia's top notch boarding schools. It is also the secret she's trying desperately to hide. Her parents have enrolled her in boarding school after her older brother is sent to prison for shoplifting. Though they deal in illegal imports, they don't approve of stealing and they want their daughter to make a better life for herself. Bridget is keenly aware of this pressure to succeed at her new school and the fact that they could be in a heap of trouble if their secret comes out. It's difficult to make friends when you can't open up, but Bridget finds a kindred soul in a boy called Menzies. Soon Bridget's familial woes are replaced by a new and more serious predicament-helping Menzie free two Afghani refugee children from a detention center. This novel by Australian author Morris Gleitzman is a companion to Boy Overboard, where refugees Jamal and Bibi are first introduced. It is not necessary to have read Boy Overboard first, but many listeners will want to hear the story that inspires Bridget and Menzies' bravery. Gleitzman explores themes of courage, friendship, and social injustice with plenty of humor and intrigue to keep listeners involved. Mary-Anne Fahey's narration perfectly captures Bridget's innocence and quirky sense of humor. It's also fascinating to hear another country's perspective on current world issues. A great way to add some international flavor to school and public library collections.-April Mazza, Wayland Public Library, MA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.