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Farm Boy [Illustrated] [Paperback]

Michael Morpurgo , Michael Foreman
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (138 customer reviews)

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Farm Boy Farm Boy 4.2 out of 5 stars (138)
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Book Description

5 Jan 2009

Set on a farm in rural Devon, Farm Boy is a collection of Grandpa’s reminiscences and stories touchingly told to his grandson. Superbly told by a master storyteller and stunningly illustrated by Michael Foreman – an exquisite book.

Joey was the last working horse on the farm, and the apple of Grandpa’s eye. In War Horse, published twelve years ago, Joey was sent away from the farm to be a warhorse in WWI. Grandpa had joined the cavalry in order to find, and fight, with Joey. Farm Boy brings us forward fifty years with Grandpa not only telling his grandson, Joey’s story but also a ‘shameful secret’ which he has held for years – Grandpa has never learned to read and write.

The story is set in Iddesleigh in Devon and lovingly evokes the bonds between farm and farmer; grandson and grandfather. The spirit of rural life is superbly captured in both Michael Morpurgo’s writing and Michael Foreman’s illustrations. An irresistible title from acclaimed author-illustrator partnership. The title was first published in full colour by Pavilion.

Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks; New edition edition (5 Jan 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006754120
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006754121
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (138 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 206,594 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Multi-award winning author, Michael Morpurgo, is one of Britain's best-loved writers for children and has won many prizes, including the Smarties Prize, The Writers Guild Award and the Blue Peter Book Award for his recent novel, Private Peaceful, which has also had two successful runs as a play devised by Bristol Old Vic. From 2003 to 2005 he was the Children's Laureate, a role which took him all over the UK to promote literacy and reading, and in 2005 he was named the Booksellers Association Author of the Year.

Product Description


‘Here is a very important book, combining the very best of storytelling and illustration.’

‘If there are such things as contemporary classics, then this, surely is one of them.’
Daily Mail

From the Back Cover

"I come from a family of farmers, going back generations and generations.
I love Grandpa's farm. When I was younger I'd go down there whenever I could; but I didn't go just for the farm. I went for Grandpa and his stories too. He loved to tell them and I loved to listen. But grandpa had a secret, a secret so shameful to him that he kept it to himself, all these years. I didn't discover his secret, he told me himself. That was the story that was to change my life."

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
87 of 92 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This is a beautifully illustrated book by Michael Foreman,which captures life on a rural Devon farm between the wars.It features Joey,an extraordinary horse,who is the inspiration for Morpurgo's book 'War Horse'.Morpurgo once again deals with relationships between the young and the old, this time the grandson helps the grandfather to read and write and in return the old man retells stories of his youth. These he writes down for his grandson to take with him on his travels.The main story is about a ploughing match and how modern methods are not always the best!This is a wonderful book for young and old,some who may actually recognize the farming advertisements of yesteryear.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A gentle, heartwarming tale 4 Oct 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Having recently read and loved War Horse, I was then lucky enough to see the stage production in London. Finding there that there was a sequel - Farm Boy - to War Horse, I bought it soon afterwards.

This is a shorter tale than the first book. While it doesn't carry the emotional punch of War Horse, it is nonetheless a charming and well-written story of the relationship between the narrator and his grandfather. Through them we find out what happened to Joey, the horse who went to war and against all odds, returned safely with his owner. The book is beautifully illustrated throughout, and I would recommend it highly as an excellent read.

Ben Kane, author of Hannibal: Enemy of Rome.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice little book 5 Jan 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I loved war horse an this book was no different i don't agree with other comments that it was repetitive to war horse at all, was a little on the short side which is why I gave it a 4 , not sure the price is too justified either I read this in an hour. But a good read all the same!
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50 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A taste of the past 5 April 2005
By Mo
This story takes place over a relatively short amount of time and yet spans three generations. Michael Morpurgo gives us two contrasting first person narratives that illustrate the relationship between a grandson and his grandfather. The main narrative is that of the grandson, which is very much based in reality. On the other hand grandpa's story is what I would call a tale because it concentrates on incident rather than character and is closer to the oral tradition in terms of the use of dialect. This narrative is woven into the other. The distance between the two narratives is through time; however, they are very close due to the setting. Morpurgo uses several motifs such as the ideals of now and then and lost tradition. The lead motifs are an old Fordson Tractor and a horse called Joey.
Joey has his own story which takes part in World War I, however in this story it is Grandpa who is central. The opening of the book introduces us to the grandson and the old green Fordson tractor which form part of his daydreams. Although there is no apparent link at first, the tractor is also an integral part of the story; a story that unfolds when the old man takes his grandson into his confidence and discloses his secret (he can not read). After being taught to read by his grandson, Grandpa writes him a story about how the tractor was won in a ploughing race between it and his fathers horses (Joey and Zoey).
Michael Foreman brings the settings alive with his detailed water colour illustrations which are printed in black and white (In my edition). The primary setting for the book is the family farm in rural Devon. However, through Grandpa's reminiscing we also see a glimpse of World War I.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars So disappointed 11 May 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
So disappointed with this book - I only bought it as a sequel to War Horse and even the grandfather's recounting of the story differs from the original War Horse in a number of ways. I found myself re reading War Horse in case my memory had played tricks on me! Whilst the story is somewhat interesting it lacks depth and substance and I have to agree with other reviewers that it was rushed out to capitalise on the success of War Horse. I expected to find out what happened after the war and to be drawn into the post war life of Joey and the newly married Albert. Instead I read the whole book in around an hour and felt really let down.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very short 8 Feb 2012
A nice story, ties in nicely with war horse - but still good as a stand-alone read if you haven't read war horse. However, it's very short - especially when you take into account the number of pictures in the book (all beautifully drawn though). Would be more appropriate as part of a collection of short stories, rather than sold alone, I think.
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43 of 51 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Farm Boy 12 Jan 2008
Who are the main characters? Who is your favourite character and why?
Grandpa, his grandson, Joey and Zoey the horses, Mum and Dad

What is the basic plot of the book and how does it develop?
The plot of the story is that the boy in the story goes to stay at his grandfathers house just for the holidays but actually ends up staying for a couple of months to teach his grandpa to read and write. He helped with the farm work and he really enjoyed the stay.

How would you describe the atmosphere of the book?
It is a powerful story of family life, changing times, a competition between an old green tractor
and a powerful plough horse named Joey that will never be forgotten.

What was the most exciting moment in the book?
Well it is very exciting when the grandpa has to take over from his father in a bet.

What were the best and worst things about this book?
I think it was all good especially because it was like a diary entry. One bad thing is that it doesn't mention the name of the boy in the story.

Did this book change the way you thought or felt about anything?
Well know I realise that farmers have a reasonably good life because before I though that they have a very difficult and hard life.

Who do you think would like this book?
I think that children from 7 - 11 would enjoy reading this book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant sequel
Great read, thoroughly recommended, a must read for anyone who is a Michael Morpurgo fan as well as someone just being introduced to his books:)
Published 9 days ago by Anna MacLeod
5.0 out of 5 stars Farm Boy
Classic Morpurgo - speaks for itself. Excellent little story for children and adults even though it is not very sophisticated.
Published 13 days ago by Jan
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely read
This is a great sequel to war horse very moving and a wonderful end to the story of Joey a great horse.
Published 29 days ago by devarro
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Though very short it is excellent read and well worth it if you read War Horse, will certainly read again
Published 1 month ago by Stan Henderson
5.0 out of 5 stars A winner
My 8 year old Granddaughter 'devoured' this book as soon as she opened it. she aims to have every Michael Morpurgo book.
Published 1 month ago by Eunice Dowling
5.0 out of 5 stars Magical farm boy
I thought this book was amazing it is so inspirational to. I wrote down magical farm boy for the title because it is magical it makes you wonder what it was like in world war 1 it... Read more
Published 1 month ago by KDH
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy Read
Very easy read, not an adult book but I love Morpurgo's book. Fully illustrated and a good sequel for War Horse
Published 1 month ago by Mrs C Garfirth
5.0 out of 5 stars Farm Boy
For a quick read was good but when he refers to Joey and Albert in the war the story us different to War Horse the book and more like War Korse the film
Published 1 month ago by Robert Checksfield
4.0 out of 5 stars Not quite as I thought.
Still a good book, but was disappointed it didnt really have the horse in the story. War Horse was brilliant. This was ok. Quite short and quick to read though.
Published 2 months ago by Kerry D
5.0 out of 5 stars great book
i would recommend it to buy, i bought it for my 8 year old granson , he loves reading it,
Published 2 months ago by a t irish
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