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428 of 446 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some horse sense...
Set in three European countries where war hits hard in 1914, Morpurgo's book surprisingly puts its focus with a young horse, through whose eyes and mind the reader is familiarized with the atrocities of war as they unfold. While as a literary device this might appear cheap or far-fetched, here it functions in quite a unique way.
Whether witness, victim or...
Published on 4 Oct. 2004 by Christian Spriet

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as I had hoped
I had wanted to read this ever since they released the film. The students, at the school where I work, have raved about it and said that I really should read it, so I borrowed it over the half term holidays. I feel I should add it only took me two hours to read.

The story is told from the viewpoint of Joey, who is the war horse. He starts life on a farm but is...
Published on 15 Feb. 2012 by The Little Bookworm


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428 of 446 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some horse sense..., 4 Oct. 2004
By 
Christian Spriet "Chacklee Chack" (Bruges, Belgium) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: War Horse (Paperback)
Set in three European countries where war hits hard in 1914, Morpurgo's book surprisingly puts its focus with a young horse, through whose eyes and mind the reader is familiarized with the atrocities of war as they unfold. While as a literary device this might appear cheap or far-fetched, here it functions in quite a unique way.
Whether witness, victim or participant, Joey (the horse) merely undergoes whilst observing without interacting by means of speech the way that humans would.
The restraint which the author imposes on his narrative in selecting this point of view just works wonders. The further into the story, the reader (whether adult or youngster) gradually conceives a growing sympathy with the war horse and ends up nearly identifying with his animal companion.
Along with Joey, he gets to interact with the people (civilian or military) who temporarily own him and gradually will, of his own account, make a distinction between the ones who approach him fairly or harshly. As he is dragged into the avalanche of warfare, he gets to make sense of the horse's gratitude and emotionality one way, and his pain or distress, another.
To cut (not such) a long story short, to say that Mr Morpurgo does perfect credit to whoever gets dragged into the nightmarish abyss of war at any time and any place, is no exaggeration. His understated style only adds to the qualities that characterize the book as it is.
Perfection is not of this world, so the word goes, but this one comes ever so close.
War horse is a gem. It is a must-read, and not just for young readers.
Read and understand why, at times, books are indispensable.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a brilliant book, 4 Mar. 2009
A Kid's Review
This review is from: Mr Nobody's Eyes (Paperback)
This book is my second favourite book ever (the only book better than it for me is Michael Morpurgo's award winning Private Peacful). This book is good for me because it's about a boy called Harry who steals a chimpanzee called Ocky. He keeps him in a abandoned bombsite next to his house, but when his step father and the police find out they are soon on the run.
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163 of 171 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this and realise the futility of War..., 4 Oct. 1999
This review is from: War Horse (Paperback)
A tremendous book, and it deserves to be up there with Black Beauty. The tale of a horse that becomes part of World War1, and it views the war from both sides. The story is tightly written, the narrative excellent, and the things that happen will live with you long after the book is finished. A climatic scene between enemies is the highlight of the book and should make children (and adults) realise the futility of war. Get the tissues out...this is a wonderful, thought provoking story-with,I hasten to add, a sort of happy ending. Read it yourself, then give it to your children - a wonderful, wonderful book!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Worthy Partner to Private Peaceful, 17 May 2009
By 
Mrs. K. A. Wheatley "katywheatley" (Leicester, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: War Horse (Paperback)
Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo is the story of a young British soldier tried for cowardice in the First World War. Powerfully written and unflinching in its portrayal of barbarity it is definitely a book for older teens.

In War Horse Morpurgo has found a story which still illustrates the horrors of the First World War, but in a way which will appeal to and be understood by younger readers from about 11 upwards.

This story is told by Joey, a horse brought up in a rural farming community in the South of England, who is sold by the farmer to the recruiting officers looking for cavalry horses to take into battle.

Joey's account of the war takes him across France and across No Man's Land to both sides who are fighting. He is set to work both as a cavalry horse and pulling guns and ambulances as well as having to work the land. His journey shows us the war from every possible angle and shows the human side and cost of such an epic story, as all the while he searches for his original owner Albert, who had vowed to come and find him no matter what.

Despite the subject matter this is a strangely unsentimental story, which works so well because it is told through neutral eyes.

It has recently been translated as a stage play by the National Theatre in London and has just transferred to the West End. It is a remarkable telling of what is a remarkable book, and if you enjoyed this I urge you to go and see it if you possibly can.
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112 of 119 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 17 Sept. 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: War Horse (Paperback)
I read this book when I was about ten, it was amazing, totally absorbing, I got to the major war scene when I was in quiet reading at school, and cried. Thirteen years later, I have never forgotten this book, it's wonderful, and the author is great and really knows how to capture a reader.
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68 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it!, 13 Sept. 2009
A Kid's Review
This review is from: War Horse (Paperback)
I love it!,it's the best book I've ever read! It's sad good,exciting,and touching.
I'd recomend it to people who love adventure and who love animals. Charlotte age 8
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WarHorse, 14 July 2009
By 
B. Leyland (Derbyshire ,UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: War Horse (Paperback)
A brilliant book, very poignant. I bought it after seeing the west end play based on the book -which I would also highly recommend. When I had finished the book I passed it onto my 9 year old great nephew who also read it non-stop and thoroughly enjoyed it though he sad it was rather sad. Definitely appeals to all age groups! An easy read but a good one
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Book, Fantastic Author, 31 Aug. 2009
A Kid's Review
This review is from: War Horse (Paperback)
Micheal Morpurgo is an amazing author and you can truly relate to his books. When I read war horse I was close to tears it is a fantastic book full of mixed emotion. The end is different to what I expected although better. It could easily be a true story as it is so realistic and Joey is a delightful horse that every farmer and every army should have. Once I had picked it up I could not put it down again I was so glued to the book. It is so good the whole of my family are trying to get their hands on it. Once I had finshed war horse I went out and brought farm boy which is also good and a follow up of war horse. Every animal/horse lover is sure to enjoy it whatever their age.
Thumbs up!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Skilful book that brings the history to life, 9 Jan. 2012
This review is from: War Horse (Kindle Edition)
I wanted to see the play when it opened, but I didn't. I wanted to read the book, and with the film coming out, I wanted to read the book before I saw the film. And so I read it this morning in one sitting. I'm not sure whether this was because I couldn't put it down or rather because by the time I needed to put it down I had nearly finished. So I did finish. And I wasn't disappointed.

In a way the story is fairly predictable, but then I was brought up on Black Beauty, and anyone who was moved by Captain's exploits in the Crimean War as told there will find lots of familiar things in Michael Morpugo's book. But there is much more. Joey's story is told from beginning to nearly the end (since he lives happily ever after), but it travels with him through the whole of the Great War, the War to End all Wars. As you see the story from all sides, you realise, if you didn't before, the stupidity of it all, with people very much like each other coming into Joey's life in turn, killing each other with ever more deadly technology, all because of their patriotism, when all they really want to do is have simple lives and look after their homes.

It is a skilful book that will bring the history to life for a younger reader, and yet leaves a clearer vision of life in that period to an older, more wordly reader, due to the pictures painted by the author. And if you haven't read Black Beauty, either at all or for years, do so. There is much in both books that we need to remember and apply to our care of animals and of each other.
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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful...especially with the illustrations as well., 16 Dec. 2005
By 
Charliecat (Oxfordshire, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: War Horse (Paperback)
This is the classic story of Joey a beautiful and courageous red bay with a white cross on his forehead. Joey is bought by Albert's father. Albert falls in love with him and their friendship is a lasting one. However Albert's father needs money and sells Joey to the Army. Joey goes off to the horrors of the First World War. He meets amazing people, Captain Nicholls, Emilie, Mad Old Friedrich and more amazing horses, including his faithful friend Topthorn. Although Joey suffers much ultimately it is a story of hope.
The illustrations set off this special edition perfectly. It is a beautiful story destined to be a great childrens classic.
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