Wednesday, January 28, 2015

War Horse

by Michael Morpurgo
published: Scholastic, 2007
pages: 165

In 1914, Joey, a beautiful farm horse, is sold off to the army and thrust into the grueling war that tests not only the soldiers he accompanies but himself as well.  Leaving behind a farm boy whom he is determined to see again, Joey bravely marches forth spreading his courage to the soldiers.  Will he survive this devastating war and make it back to his true master or will he get caught up in the war like so many others before him?

This book was very endearing.  I like that it was told from the horse's point of view.  There are lots of stories that feature men gone to war, but we don't often see a book told from someone else's point of view.  Joey gave a unique perspective, offering insight to personal connections he made with soldiers and civilians from both sides.

There were moments when this book read a bit slow, but the pace picked up after a while.  It just seemed to be inconsistent.  There's a natural ebb and flow to the pace of any story and for the most part it was fine, there was just a moment or two when I felt pulled out of the story because it slowed way down.

This story is a story of hope in a moment of utter hopelessness.  World War I was a long war and so many people died fighting.  This book took all of that and laced in a story of loss, hope, survival, friendship and love between a boy and his horse.  One of the reasons this story is beautiful is because it is simply told.  Joey is not on a side of the war, he is just part of it.  Using that, we see the humanity in everyone and not just on winning side.  We see good German men and good British men, and we see bad German men and bad British men.

Michael Morpurgo took a common topic and made it genuinely unique.  I really enjoyed reading this book and I'm going to have to watch the movie now!

Stars: 4/5


"...listeners get a unique and perceptive views of World War I.... And excellent choice for fans of historical fiction."
     --School Library Journal

"Joey's ability to understand the language wherever he is--England, France, Germany--reinforces the novel's antiwar message, and the terse details speak eloquently about peace."

An Alphabet Soup Challenge Book

1 comment:

  1. I rarely read anything about WW1 - I should really check this one out
    New follower :)
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings