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Boy Giant

Written by Michael Morpurgo

Illustrated by Michael Foreman

Adventure Stories Books of the Month Family / Home Stories Featured Books for 11+ readers Featured Books for 9+ readers Personal Social Health Economic (PSHE)

LoveReading View on Boy Giant

Small boy, big heart - this riveting riff on Gulliver’s Travels sees an Afghan refugee embark on a life-changing voyage

September 2020 Book of the Month

This sparkling adventure melds life as a young refugee with literary lore. The warm magic of Omar’s Lilliputian sojourn will captivate young readers, while his experience as a refugee will surely inspire compassion and empathy - deeply vital for our times.


Known as Tiny in his rural village, Omar’s life is overturned when war breaks out and an air strike kills his dad and many friends. When his sister goes missing, Omar and his mum move to a refugee camp. But it’s not long before Mum decides it would be safer to join a group of sea-bound refugees. They walk for a year and reach the coast, but Omar’s mum only has enough money to pay for one passage. So, armed only with the address of his Uncle Said in England, Omar boards the overcrowded boat. When it sinks, he wakes to find himself on an island populated by tiny people. 


The warm welcome of the Lilliputians serves as a powerful allegory. They “spoke with their hearts” and make Omar feel like he belongs as he learns their language, their history, their culture. But worried his mum might be waiting for him in England, Omar sets off again, with hope in his heart and special companions aboard his new boat. Shot-through with a powerful message about offering help and hope to those in need, this is classic Morpurgo, with wonderfully warm illustrations by Michael Foreman.

Read more about Michael Morpurgo, our Guest Editor for September 2020, here.

Joanne Owen

Boy Giant Synopsis

We were the truth of our own story. Me, and the two tiny people on my shoulder, in the middle of the sea...

War has forced Omar and his mother to leave their home in Afghanistan and venture across the sea to Europe. When their boat sinks, and Omar finds himself alone, with no hope of rescue, it seems as if his story has come to an end. But it is only just beginning. Because in the end, a little hope makes a big difference...

A thrilling adventure inspired by the classic story of Gulliver's Travels, this is also a gripping modern narrative of rescue and refuge, from a writer at the height of his powers. A book about breaking down walls, at a time when many are trying to build them. And a timeless reminder of humanity's infinite capacity for good... even when those humans are very small indeed.

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780008355180
Publication date: 03/09/2020
Publisher: HarperCollins an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780008355180
Publication date: 3rd September 2020
Author: Michael Morpurgo
Illustrator: Michael Foreman
Publisher: HarperCollins an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 288 pages
Suitable for: 11+ readers, 9+ readers
Genres: Adventure Stories, Family / Home Stories, Personal Social Health Economic
Recommendations: Books of the Month
Collections: Our favourite children's books of 2020,

About Michael Morpurgo

Michael Morpurgo, began writing stories in the early '70's, in response to the children in his class at the primary school where he taught in Kent.  One of the UK’s best-loved authors and storytellers, Michael was appointed Children’s Laureate in 2003, a post he helped to set up with Ted Hughes in 1999. He was awarded an OBE in 2007 and a Knighthood in the New Year’s Honours in 2018 for services to literature and charity. He has written over 150 books, including The Butterfly Lion, Kensuke’s Kingdom, Why the Whales Came, The Mozart Question, ...

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