Alone on a Wide Wide Sea - Summary and Key Ideas

Alone on a Wide Wide Sea is a moving tale that follows the journey of an orphan boy, Arthur, who is sent to Australia after World War II. The book explores themes of survival, identity, and the search for family, intertwined with verses from 'The Ancient Mariner'.

Targeted primarily at young readers and teenagers, the book appeals to those interested in historical fiction, adventure, and emotional journeys of self-discovery. Adult readers who enjoy reflective and poignant stories may also find it captivating.

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Alone on a Wide Wide Sea

Key ideas

01

Arthur's traumatic voyage to Australia instilled hope through Marty's friendship.

02

Child migrants felt despair upon arriving at a harsh Australian farm.

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03

Piggy Bacon was a cruel Australian farmer who brutally overworked orphan children until Wes Snarkey's defiant attack on him inspired hope.

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04

Mr. Piggy Bacon enforces harsh labor, but his kind wife Ida protects Arthur, returning a confiscated lucky key and saving both Arthur and Mr. Bacon.

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05

Wes became a hero for standing up to Piggy Bacon but faced harsh punishments, ultimately dying in a failed escape, leaving his friends devastated and Ida as their only source of courage.

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06

Arthur's life changed when Wes's death spurred Ida to free the orphans from Piggy Bacon, leading to their daring escape into the wilderness.

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07

Orphaned children rescued by Aboriginal bushmen and offered new home.

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08

Aunty Megs provided a nurturing home and taught love and resilience.

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09

Two adopted boys navigate responsibility and farewells at their cherished home.

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10

Freddie Dodds' betrayal shattered their idyllic boatyard life forever.

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11

After Aunty Megs's death, Arthur's attempts to find solace at sea led him through painful and destructive experiences, leaving him adrift.

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12

Arthur's tragic life finds solace through his daughter Allie’s quest.

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Summary & Review

Final Summary: "Alone on a Wide Wide Sea" by Michael Morpurgo is a poignant tale of endurance, loss, and the search for belonging. Arthur Hobhouse and his sister Kitty are separated as children, sent from their home in England to Australia after World War II. Arthur overcomes numerous hardships, and, inspired by his newfound Australian family and a deep connection to the sea, embarks on an epic voyage back to England. Alongside his daughter, Arthur pursues the quest to reunite with Kitty, drawing parallels to challenges faced throughout life. The narrative is enriched by themes of resilience, hope, and the enduring bonds of family.

Michael Morpurgo

Michael Morpurgo is one of Britain’s best-loved writers for children, known for his significant contributions to literature. He has received numerous awards, including the Smarties Prize and the Blue Peter Book Award. From 2003 to 2005, he served as the UK's Children's Laureate.

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