The Wreck of the Zanzibar

There’s nothing better in English than sharing a good book! This week Year 5 and 6 read the Wreck of the Zanzibar by Michael Morpurgo, one of my favourite children’s writers. This is a delightful story that always brings a lump to my throat and tears to my eyes when I read it aloud. The children loved it too and every day begged for us to carry on reading. Even my son, who is admittedly a reluctant reader, exclaimed, “This is so exciting! I’m making a movie of it in my head!”

The novel also inspired some creative writing from the children. Here, Jaka has written a diary entry as Billy Perryman, a fourteen-year-old who runs away to sea.

Dear diary,

Father is so mean to me. I want to run away to America. 

Today started off all right when I went to milk the cows – until Father saw the buckets and roared, “How can you milk with such dirty buckets?” He was angry, so I stomped away to wash them and that’s when I thought, “Why not run away for your fourteenth birthday?”

So after that, I went to St Mary’s without telling anyone. I was gone all day. When I came back this evening I never said a word to Laura or Granny May. Then I went out again. After sundown I came back. Laura came running to meet me. When she realized I was not alone, I said to her, “This is Joseph Hannibal. He has been all over the world.”

Soon, Laura, Joseph and I went home for supper. At home Joseph told me and my family of how he travelled to many countries – to Japan, Australia and more.

Tonight, Father came to my room. He walked around and roared at me for not coming back before,  because Molly and her calf died. I fell silent because I hadn’t known that one of our cows had died.

I have decided I must leave with Joseph. It’s a big world out there and I want to see it. I still love Father, but I need to escape.

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