Jamal loves playing football, which isn't easy if your goalie only has one leg and you keep having to dodge landmines to get your ball back. Jamal's stubborn little sister Bibi is even better at football than Jamal. But girls playing football is against the law in Afganistan. When it is discovered that Jamal's mother has been secretly running a school, the family must leave their home immediately and begin a long and dangerous journey to Australia. The children survive separation from their parents, hunger, and violent smugglers only to find that Australia isn't as welcoming as they had thought but, even though they face an uncertain future, Jamal, Bibi and their parents know that as long as they are together, that is all that matters.
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published on November 7, 2002 by Viking Children's Books
ISBN-10: 0670914088
ISBN-13: 9780670914081
26 Book Reviews
  • Izzy Tuesday, October 13, 2020 at 3:49 pm
    I’m in year six and I’m reading this book for English every morning and I’m up to chapter 4 and I think it’s nooice 👌
    • JamesSunday, August 9, 2020 at 5:33 pm
      This is cool
      • willowMonday, July 13, 2020 at 4:27 pm
        i read this in year five and it was pretty boring now Im in year 7 and Im reading it again i wouldn't recommend this book.
        • Hi (me)Wednesday, May 20, 2020 at 7:28 pm
          I think this book is great.!!
          • FredFriday, August 16, 2019 at 7:32 pm
            I loved it and really recommend it to everyone...
            • Jasminne Wednesday, July 31, 2019 at 3:45 am
              Is think it is a petty call book I love it so much that I wan`t to kept reading
              • Lucas Tuesday, July 2, 2019 at 11:27 pm
                Bob I respect your opinion but in view i like this book even more than you might have. look how many people like this book
                • JordanMonday, July 1, 2019 at 3:44 am
                  I am in year 7, and to give a summary of Boy Overboard I would say that it is a kids/tween novel. Boy Overboard is based on a young Afghani kid Jamal, who loves playing football (soccer). But that isn’t always easy when your goalkeeper has only one leg, and when land mines are lying around your football game. Jamal has a little sister Bibi who is even better at football than him. But the Taliban made it illegal for girls to play football. The Taliban also found out that Jamal and Bibi’s mum had an illegal school in their house, the family then had to evacuate their house and move to Australia. The journey to Australia was dangerous and scary for the family, and Jamal and Bibi got separated from their parents. The smugglers were very cruel and everyone got hungry, and things got violent. The kids soon found out Australia wasn’t as welcoming as they expected, but once Jamal and Bibi got their parents back; they realized that if they were together that’s all that mattered. When I first began reading Boy Overboard I didn’t find much of a hook. And I struggled to enjoy the book for a while. It wasn’t until Jamal’s mum was almost killed, also known as the stadium scene is when I started to find a hook, and start to enjoy the book. I found the scene stadium scene the first hook because that was when the story first started to become different to other books I’d read before, and it inclined me to want to read the book more. My two favorite scenes in Boy Overboard were the stadium scene and the scene where Jamal and Bibi found out the news of their parent’s boat sinking. The stadium scene was when the Taliban found out about the illegal schools, including Jamal’s mum’s school. The Taliban rounded up all the illegal teachers and were going to execute them. Jamal’s mum luckily got away. And the scene where Jamal and Bibi found out the news of their parent’s boat sinking is one of the final scenes, and I chose it because it seemed to have a hard impact on Bibi and Jamal. You could tell that they were hit hard by this news, just by the way that it was written. While reading the novel, it was obvious that there were a few enemies to the main characters such as the Taliban, the smugglers, the pirates, and the sailors. The Taliban were always despised by Jamal and his family, the main event between Jamal’s family and the Taliban was after Jamal’s Mum got caught for having an illegal school. The Taliban blew up Jamal’s house and then almost murdered his mother before she got away. The main event between Jamal’s family and the smugglers was probably after the smugglers dropped off a group of people at a boat dock, and left everyone there in the dark with no food or water. Jamal and Bibi and the Pirates only had one encounter, which was when the pirates abandoned Jamal and Bibi in the middle of the ocean with the rest of the people onboard. Jamal’s family had a few encounters with the sailor, but I think the moment with the highest conflict was when the sailor threw Bibi into the water, even when she didn’t know how to swim. At the beginning of the book, Jamal seems like an average Afghani kid for his conditions worried about safety, afraid of land mines, on edge and carefu. And of course, he loves football. As the book carried through Jamal started to show more signs of bravery and compassion. He was clearly affected by his rough journey to Australia, but I think that it helped him be more thankful for things like being with his family, and even being alive. When Jamal and Bibi lost their parents, you could tell that Jamal saw it as a time to step up and take care of Bibi. Whereas at the start of the book Bibi was very open-minded and feisty, and as the book carried through she started to be more respecting and patient. Bibi seemed to be rather rattled after the rough journey to Australia, but that helped her to be more thankful for little things.
                  • bobSunday, June 16, 2019 at 3:08 am
                    First of all to make a good book about a refugee, you need to be a refugee and Morris Gleitzman is not a refugee so he would not know what its like to have to go through all that. I feel like certain parts of the text are rushed and others seem to go on for ever, for example the airplane ride was a few pages long and the car trip went forever. The book is a nice size altogether though. I also don’t like how short the chapters are. The characters are really underdeveloped and Jamal is way too mature for a 11 year old also Jamal is way too obsessed with soccer, so much that its actually annoying. I'm pretty sure the only reason soccer is even in the book is to try to have a little bit of excitement,, which it fails at. Jamal makes really stupid decisions too, going out in the middle of the night while there’s people trying to hunt down his family, and going to a soccer stadium in a country where the government doesn’t like people playing soccer,thinking its a free game, then a tank shows up and you think it’s still a soccer game. Overall this book is really boring and seems like Morris Gleitzman just had to get a book out in a few days and came up with this. I'd honestly rate this 0 stars Also this shouldn't be used as a year 7 book, i almost fell asleep every english class
                    • liv_874
                      liv_874Tuesday, September 3, 2019 at 12:20 am44 stars
                      Firstly while Morris isn't a refugee he interviewed many refugees before the making of this book(it says in in the front of the book somewhere) Secondly have u thought that maybe the scenes that went on for longer were more significant. Thirdly Soccer is just one simple way to show that is unfair to live where they live as girls don't get simple rights, The one thing I can kind of agree with, is that it shouldn't be a Yr7 book, because I read it in Yr 5 for Literature.
                    • JackThursday, June 13, 2019 at 12:33 am
                      As being some who has read this is 8th grade i quite enjoyed the book although im not to big of a fan of football or soccer. this book intrigues you and the characters have a different challenge and a new set of emotions every chapter. this is what kept me intrigued in the book.