The story of a young boy who rescues an orphaned white lion cub from the African bush. They remain inseparable until Bertie has to go away to boarding school and the lion is sold to a circus. Years later they are reunited, until the lion gently dies of old age.
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Michael divides his time between his writing and running Farms for City Children, a charity which each year takes up to 3,000 children to a working farm for a week. Michael and his wife Clare were awarded MBEs this year for their work with the charity. Before the first farm opened 22 years ago, Morpurgo was a teacher and his knowledge of children's experiences, plus his experience of Farms enrich his writing enormously. Michael Morpurgo has won the Whitbread Children's Book Award, and the Smarties Book Prize.From School Library Journal:
Grade 4-8. Elements of fantasy and fiction are woven into this fast-paced adventure. A student runs away from boarding school and meets an elderly lady, whom he later discovers is a ghost. She tells the story of another boy, Bertie, who grew up long ago in Africa and eventually became her husband. Lonely and neglected by his parents, he rescues an abandoned white lion cub and cares for it, gradually forming a close bond. After some years the boy's parents abruptly decide to send him to school in England and sell the lion. Bertie attempts to save the animal by returning it to the jungle, but it has lost its ability to survive in the wild and returns to the only home it has known. A French circus owner buys the lion, and the boy vows never to forget him. Twelve years later, Bertie fights in World War I and is decorated for rescuing wounded comrades. In a small French town he finally finds his lion, starving and near death, and the two friends are reunited. Heartened by the woman's tale, the student returns to school. This touching story is well written and emotionally satisfying. Readers will be drawn to this fascinating tale of a unique friendship between boy and beast. In addition to being a successful adventure story, the book demonstrates the value of character?of keeping promises, standing up for one's beliefs, and courage under fire.?Gebregeorgis Yohannes, San Francisco Public Library, CA
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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