Wednesday, May 4, 2011

War Horse

Author: Michael Morpurgo
My recommended age:  8+
Their recommended age: 9+
Publisher:  Scholastic publishers
Number of pages:  {Hardcover}  165

Publisher’s description:
"In 1914, Joey, a beautiful bay-red foal with a distinctive cross on his nose, is sold to the army and thrust into the midst of the war on the Western Front. With his officer, he charges toward the enemy, witnessing the horror of the battles in France. But even in the desolation of the trenches, Joey's courage touches the soldiers around him and he is able to find warmth and hope. But his heart aches for Albert, the farmer's son he left behind. Will he ever see his true master again? "

My thoughts:
 It was very good.  Even though it was in a war time, and Joey is a war horse, all the battle scenes are vague, and non graphic.  Unlike 'Black Beauty', Joey isn't all-knowing.  He doesn't understand some things that the humans do, and that makes it feel more real.  Joey is captured and employed by the Germans, and I love how it shows how on each side there were young, hurting boys.  Homesick men and old Grandpas.  Not all were bad, evil men.  Yes, their logic was wrong, but they were still men and boys.
 Good writing.
Shows each side fairly.
Happy ending.
Nothing graphic despite being a 'war' book.
One character tells Joey about the girl he left back home.
 It is a war book, yet there is nothing graphic in it.
Drugs and drink:
Albert's Father is drunk when he buys Joey, and gets drunk every Tuesday.  Nothing crude.
Random Snippet:
The little Welshman shook his head in disbelief as he took the rope.  "I think if they would let you and me have an hour or two out here together, we could sort out this whole, wretched mess. There would be no weeping widows and crying children in my valley and no more in yours. If worse came to worst, we could decide it all on the flip of a coin, couldn't we?"
"If we did" said the German with a chuckle. "If we did it that way, then it would be our turn to win. And maybe your Lloyd George would not like that". And he put his hands on the Welshman's shoulders for a moment. "Take care, my friend, and good luck. Auf Wiedersehen".  And he turned away and walked slowly back across the no-man's-land to the wire.
"Same to you" the Welshman shouted after him, and then he, too, turned and led me away back towards the line of khaki soldiers, who began now to laugh and cheer with delight  as I limped toward them through the gap in the wire.

Shows what I said earlier about showing both sides fairly.  Unless you read the book, the snippet might seem a little odd, so, read it.
I give this book 5 STARS.  For Good writing, fairness, realism, clean content and overall good reading.

Where you can buy it at:
 You can buy it either from Amazon, or right from the Scholastic website.
*I received this book from Scholastic Publishers.  I was neither paid nor asked to do this, but did because I wanted to*

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