Thursday, April 15, 2010
War Horse by Michael Morpurgo
Title: War Horse
Author: Michael Morpurgo
ISBN: 9780545057981, Scholastic, 2008
Genre: Young Adult Historical Fiction
First Line: My earliest memories are a confusion of hilly fields and dark, damp stables and rats that scampered along the beams above my head.
Joey was born and raised on an English farm and trained by a young boy named Albert. When World War I begins, Albert's father needs money and sells Joey to the Army as a cavalry horse. Although too young to join up, Albert vows to be reunited with his horse.
Fortunately for Joey, his Army captain is an honorable man who loves horses and takes good care of him, teaching Joey things that will keep him alive in the days ahead. Joey also makes friends with another cavalry horse named Topthorn. One day in battle, both horses' riders are killed, and the horses are captured by the Germans to pull heavy munitions. Through it all, Joey never forgets Albert and wonders if they will ever be reunited.
This is a wonderful story-- on par with Black Beauty-- about the effects of war on both animals and people. Morpurgo proves adept at describing the horrors of war without being graphic. As Joey moves from the British side to the German, the people he must deal with show that, no matter the language or the uniform, we are all the same.
Knowing how military strategists on both sides tended to think of the men (and animals) under their command as so much cannon fodder, Joey's fate is not all that certain. Morpurgo makes the reader care about the young horse and what happens to it and the people with whom it comes in contact. I would recommend this book to both young and old.
My Book Rating Scale:
A+...Don't delay, get your hands on a copy of this book!
A...I loved it!
B...I really liked it.
C...I liked it, with a few reservations.
D...I finished it, but it's not my cup of tea.
- Phoenix, Arizona, United States
- Hi! I'm addicted to books (especially crime fiction), laughter and traveling off the beaten path. In my free time, when my eyes aren't glued to the printed page, one of them is usually pressed against the viewfinder of my camera. Let's see... books, laughter, travel, photography. Anything else? Oh yeah-- my dream house wouldn't have a kitchen!
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.