About Me

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Victoria, Australia
I am an author of Young Adult Fiction books. I worked as a teacher in the Pacific Islands for seven years. Whilst in the Solomon Islands I taught PSSC English before the ethnic tension in 2000 forced a change of plans. I love Pacific literature, art and music. You can find me on Facebook at Beth Montgomery Author.

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Wreck of the Zanzibar by Michael Morpurgo

The Wreck of the Zanzibar is a delightful story for children. Written by Michael Morpurgo, the book recounts a year in the life of young Laura who lives on a small island during the early 1900s. The island community supplements their subsistance lifestyles with any flotsam and jetsam they can salvage from the many ships that wreck on the nearby islands. Laura is keen to row out to one of the wrecks but her fathher won't let her.
The Wreck of the Zanzibar
(Mammoth, 1995)
   Things start to get bad on the island when storms damage many buildings and all the livestock sicken and drown. The islanders have nothing left to eat but shellfish. To make things worse Laura's twin brother leaves to find his fortune on a merchant vessel. Then one day Laura finds a turtle washed up on the beach. Hungry as she is, she resolves to save the animal, not eat it. And so begins a strange turn of events that end neatly in the restoration of the island and Laura's family reuniting.
   This book only took me two sittings to finish but I think it would be perfect for a primary school student, just gaining confidence with novels. It is more sophisticated than a chapter book, but the terrific pencil drawings illustrate the action well. The narrative is written as a diary which makes it easy to empathise with young Laura.

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