Review Blog

Feb 19 2014

War Horse by Michael Morpurgo

cover image

Ill. by Rae Smith, Egmont, 2013. ISBN: 9781405267960.
Highly recommended for ages 8+. At the age of six months, the young colt, Joey, is parted from his mother. She is purchased at auction as a highly sought after working farm horse while he is far more difficult to sell. His new owner is inclined to become cruel when drunk, and promises to 'break' Joey. Luckily, the horse is cared for and trained by Albert, the farmer's son. Their relationship grows until, desperate for money, the farmer agrees to sell the horse to the army, thus beginning Joey's transformation from farm horse to war horse.
In typical Morpurgo style, the author manages to immerse the reader in the world in which the tale was set. He ensures that we are invested in the lives of the main characters, constantly hoping for positive resolutions to the situations in which they find themselves.
For some reason, this is one of the few Morpurgo books I had not previously read. Perhaps the theme or front cover of the original novel had put me off. Nonetheless, having agreed to review this beautifully illustrated version, I am so grateful I have finally read the book. From the powerful and haunting images on the dust jacket and front cover, to the drawings liberally scattered throughout the book and the combination of images and twists in the text, this is as rewarding a tale as any of his other titles. I am now eagerly awaiting the opportunity to teach another war unit to a middle or upper primary task, and I plan to look at different perspectives. With the horse as the narrator, I am expecting my students to become as involved in this tale as I have been. Another masterful Morpurgo!
Jo Schenkel

BUY IT NOW ON booktopia
Archived Blog Entries
Latest News
International Children's Book Day 2nd April, 2017
CILIP Kate Greenaway Medals 2017 longlist
CILIP Carnegie Medal longlist 2017
Branford Boase Award 2017 longlist
Children's Book Award 2017 shortlist
Infographic: Teen reading habits
Victorian Premier's Literary Awards 2017
Newbery and Caldecott Medals 2017
ALA awards 2017
Costa Children's Book Award 2016
National Simultaneous Storytime 2017

ReadPlus Features
Print similar authors bookmark
Read similar authors
How to find lesson plans
Sample theme animation

Promote Reading
Staff holiday reading list 2016
South Australian Christian Schools Conference 2016 - Library Displays
Display calendars
Science fiction and fantasy lists SAETA conference 2015
Value of School Libraries
Library, Reading development and the Internet
Free Rights of the Reader Poster
Reviews: Author index
Books for boys
Bookmark and poster templates