Friday, May 24, 2024
The Way Back Home

The Way Back Home

by Mark Warner
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Buy This Book * More books by Oliver Jeffers

One day a boy finds an aeroplane in his cupboard. Up, up, up and away he flies, high into the sky. Whizzing past clouds, stars and planets until suddenly, he runs out of petrol! Miles from earth, the boy crashes into the moon and waits. Just as he is beginning to get cold and lonely, a friendly martian appears from the darkness, also with a broken aircraft. Together they come up with a super plan to float the boy back down to earth to collect his toolbox.

Can the boy find his way back home safely, and will he ever make it back up to the moon to rescue his friend?

Teaching Ideas and Resources:


  • Read the short blurb on the back of the book and use this as the starting point for your own story about a boy who is stuck on the moon.
  • Imagine that you found an aeroplane in your cupboard. What would you do?
  • Think of some speech / thought bubbles to use in each of the illustrations.
  • Retell the story from the boy’s point of view (in the form of a diary entry).
  • Imagine the conversation that the boy and the alien might have using their walkie-talkies.
  • Write a letter / postcard from the alien to the boy.
  • Write a sequel to the book in which the boy and the alien meet again. What might they do? Where might they go together?


  • Can you find out the distance from the Earth to the Moon? How long would the rope need to stretch that far?


  • Would a person be able to fly in a plane to the moon? Can you find out the answer?


  • Try to record your own audio / video narration of the book.

Design Technology

  • The book was adapted into a play. Watch this promotional video and look at some of the props / costumes that were made for it. Could you make your own props and costumes and perform the story yourself?


  • Some of the illustrations use lots of pictures to show a single action (e.g. the boy putting on his pilot’s outfit and the conversation about fixing the two machines). Can you make a storyboard that shows an action / event?
  • Look at the work of Eadweard Muybridge and try to recreate some of his pictures using different art materials.

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