"No one can be lonely who has a book for company." ~ Nelle Reagan

Saturday, March 3, 2012

War Horse - book reviewed at long last

War Horse
Author:  Michael Morpurgo
Published:  First published in the UK in 1982, this edition published 2011 by Egmont UK Limited
Pages:  182
ISBN 9781405259415
Genre:  fiction (YA, children)
Source:  I own this copy

Separated by war,
Tested by battle,
Bound by friendship.

A powerful tale of war, redemption, and a hero's journey--now available in paperback!
In 1914, Joey, a beautiful bay-red foal with a distinctive cross on his nose, is sold to the army and thrust into the midst of the war on the Western Front. With his officer, he charges toward the enemy, witnessing the horror of the battles in France. But even in the desolation of the trenches, Joey's courage touches the soldiers around him and he is able to find warmth and hope. But his heart aches for Albert, the farmer's son he left behind. Will he ever see his true master again? (from Barnes & Noble)
My review:  
After all the hype on this blog (here, here, and here) about War Horse, I have finally read the book!  True, I was enamoured with the prospect of the film by Steven Spielberg and the video clips I found of the theatre production astounded me, and the interview with the author, Michael Morpurgo reinforced my desire to read the book.  Finally, this weekend, Friday evening and Saturday morning, I sat down with it and immersed myself in the tale of the famous horse, Joey, and his journeys through the war, separated by time and space from his beloved Albert.  I love that it is written from Joey's perspective!  Another favourite of mine, Black Beauty, remains so still and I am sure it is because the story is told from the perspective of the horse.  (I am a horse lover, after all).  Michael Morpurgo descriptively shares the devastation of war, the English countryside, the love of horse and master(s), and the story that twines it all together.  One can easily imagine the cold and brutal weather, the sucking mud, the fire of rifles and cannons that penetrate the air.  In all this, one horse and one boy persevere, desperate to find each other again.  
War Horse is action packed (though not gory), touching, and illustrative of a master's hand at work.  War Horse is one of those too few books that boys and girls alike will read and enjoy, adults too.  It can be read in one sitting, though I spread it over two.  War Horse is a fabulous timeless story that is sure to become one of your favourites, particularly if you are a horse lover, like me.
Rated 4.5/5 Recommended for ages 10 and up.  Boys and girls.  Adults too.


  1. I wasn't too sure about this as Black Beauty wrenched my heart. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

  2. Ah! I happened across your review of 'War Horse'. This just happens to be a book I'm very interested in, and now I definitely want to read it after seeing your review. I had no idea really what the storyline is about. I'm glad I saw this review!

  3. Black Beauty is heart wrenching - I am sure I cried as a child reading it - and yet beautiful. I just fell in love with this horse and knew that if someday I became a horse owner (my biggest dream) that I would take everything I learned from the book and be the BEST owner ever.

    Tarissa, I hope you'll let me know how you enjoyed it!


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