Dear Olly, by Michael Morpurgo

“Matt wouldn’t look at her as he spoke.
‘I’m going to be a clown, Olly, I mean a real clown. And I know where I’m going to do it. I’m going where my swallows go. I’m going to Africa.'”

This is a story in 3 parts, and they all fit together. The first part is about Olly, who has a brother called Matt who is brilliant at making people laugh. He sees children in Africa who are sick, injured, orphaned and lonely, and he decides he wants to go and make them laugh, make them happy. Whilst he is away, Olly looks after his swallows.

The second part is about one of Matt’s swallows, called Hero, who goes on an adventure to Africa, braving all sorts along the way. The third part is about Matt’s time in Africa, where he makes friends with a boy called Gahamire and his life will be changed forever.

When you read this book, it feels like the characters don’t know what’s going to happen. This makes it feel real, just like in real life we don’t know what will happen tomorrow or next week.

It’s not my favourite Michael Morpurgo book – that is Sparrow, the story of Joan of Arc – but I love the way he tells stories. He gets inside characters and describes feelings and emotions. In this book I could feel what it would be like to be a swallow, and it was interesting to think about what it would be like to be an orphan. I would particularly recommend this book – and Michael Morpurgo’s other books too – for animal lovers. BJMN

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