Like Morpurgo's Private Peaceful
(2004), this searing World War I novel reveals the unspeakable slaughter of soldiers on all sides fighting against people who are just like them. The story is told by an English farm horse, Joey, and, as in Cynthia Kadahota's Cracker! The Best Dog in Vietnam
(2007), the first-person narrative blends the animal's physical experience with what men say. On the farm, Joey has close ties to Albert, who is too young to join up when his dad first sells Joey to the army. Charging into battle under machine-gun fire, Joey is captured by the Germans, who train him to haul ambulances and guns. His reunion with Albert in battle is sentimental and contrived, but the viewpoint brings close the fury of the thundering guns, the confusion, and the kindness of enemies who come together in No Man's Land to save the wounded horse. 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. Hazel RochmanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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About the Author
Former Children's Laureate Michael Morpurgo needs no introduction. He is one of the most successful children's authors in the country, loved by children, teachers and parents alike. Michael has written more than forty books and won the Whitbread Award, the Smarties Award, the Circle of Gold Award, the Children's Book Award and has been short-listed for the Carnegie Medal four times. His novels have been adapted for film (My Friend Walter, Why the Whales Came) and stage (including, Kensuke's Kingdom for the Polka Theatre and Why the Whales Came for Alibi). Michael received an OBE in December 2006 for his services to literature.