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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