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Paperback

By (author) Michael Morpurgo, Illustrated by Michael Foreman

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  • Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
  • Format: Paperback | 112 pages
  • Dimensions: 124mm x 192mm x 12mm | 100g
  • Publication date: 3 March 2003
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0007131046
  • ISBN 13: 9780007131044
  • Sales rank: 5,638

Product description

Michael Morpurgo's inspiring new story of Robbie, a boy in a coma - victim of a car accident. Locked inside his own head, able to hear but not move or speak, Robbie tries to keep himself from slipping ever deeper into unconsciousness. Robbie, football fan and animal lover, runs after his dog Lucky one day when he chases a cat and is hit by a car. Unconscious, Robbie lies in hospital, unable to speak, move or eat. But he can hear; he is aware, even though his family and friends don't know this. Inside his head, we hear Robbie's thoughts; on his Mum and sister, why his parents are separated. His friends and family try desperately to reach him - even Zola, his favourite Chelsea footballer, comes to see him. And still Robbie can't 'wake up'. Until one day, against hospital rules, Dad brings Lucky into the hospital. Can Lucky bring Robbie back to life?

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Author information

Michael Morpurgo OBE is one of Britain's best-loved writers for children. He has written over 100 books and won many prizes, including the Smarties Prize, the Blue Peter Book Award and the Whitbread Award. His recent bestselling novels include 'Shadow', 'A Medal for Leroy' and 'Little Manfred'. His novel 'War Horse' has been successfully adapted as a West End and Broadway theatre play and a major film by Steven Spielberg. A former Children's Laureate, Michael is also the co-founder, with his wife Clare, of the charity Farms for City Children.

Editorial reviews

Michael Morpurgo is one of today's most highly acclaimed children's authors. His works cover the whole gamut of young people's experience, from Arthurian fantasy to the foot-and-mouth crisis. This brief novel belongs in a class of its own. A mere hundred or so pages long, it's is a masterpiece of compassion, and the young hero, fighting for his life in a Devon hospital, is an inspiration to every child facing a time of crisis. Robbie Ainsley is just 10 when he is knocked down by a car as he attempts to rescue his dog, Lucky. He is rushed to hospital, but remains in a coma, unable to speak, move or see. However, he still has some of his senses - hearing, touch and smell - as well as a quicksilver mind, and this is Robbie's story of his life as experienced from his hospital bed. He imagines what his nurse looks like; he recalls the sensation of his Gran's powdery cheek against his own; he can smell his Mum's perfume; he listens avidly to the recorded voices of his classmates. But as the days and weeks pass by, Robbie shows no signs of recovery, and slips deeper into unconsciousness. His favourite Chelsea footballer visits him; the remorseful car driver travels down from Scotland to sit by his bed; yet no one seems able to trigger a response. As Robbie drifts into a deepening coma, those dearest to him are drawing nearer to each other in their distress. His parents decide to give their shaky marriage another go, and for much of the book this seems to be what Robbie has wanted above anything. Perhaps this can be the turning point - for if it can't drag him back from the brink of death, what can? Despite the humorous tone this is a deeply affecting novel, and one which could be used in many classrooms to great effect. Robbie faces despair, misery and frustration, yet his determination to get better keeps him going, however wretched he feels. The adults in this story all have something to learn from Robbie's example, and his experience has a powerful influence on all their lives. Ages 8+ (Kirkus UK)