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War Horse
War Horse
Author: Michael Morpurgo
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 ...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9780545403351
ISBN-10: 0545403359
Publication Date: 11/1/2011
Pages: 192
Reading Level: Young Adult
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.

4.2 stars, based on 23 ratings
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

njmom3 avatar reviewed War Horse on + 1301 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I read this children's book because it is going to be the basis for a broadway show. It is book about World War I, but told from the perspective of a horse. In many ways, the book reminds me of Black Beauty. I found the ending few paragraphs odd, unnecessary, and unfortunately not a good note on which to end the book. I felt that it distracted from what the story was. It'll be interesting to see how they can manage to recreate a horse and the wartime scenes on a broadway stage.
cathyskye avatar reviewed War Horse on + 2171 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
First Line: My earliest memories are a confusion of hilly fields and dark, damp stables and rats that scampered along the beams above my head.

Joey was born and raised on an English farm and trained by a young boy named Albert. When World War I begins, Albert's father needs money and sells Joey to the Army as a cavalry horse. Although too young to join up, Albert vows to be reunited with his horse.

Fortunately for Joey, his Army captain is an honorable man who loves horses and takes good care of him, teaching Joey things that will keep him alive in the days ahead. Joey also makes friends with another cavalry horse named Topthorn. One day in battle, both horses' riders are killed, and the horses are captured by the Germans to pull heavy munitions. Through it all, Joey never forgets Albert and wonders if they will ever be reunited.

This is a wonderful story-- on par with Black Beauty-- about the effects of war on both animals and people. Morpurgo proves adept at describing the horrors of war without being graphic. As Joey moves from the British side to the German, the people he must deal with show that, no matter the language or the uniform, we are all the same.

Knowing how military strategists on both sides tended to think of the men (and animals) under their command as so much cannon fodder, Joey's fate is not all that certain. Morpurgo makes the reader care about the young horse and what happens to it and the people with whom it comes in contact. I would recommend this book to both young and old.
reviewed War Horse on + 17 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This is a beautiful book and while written largely for a young adult audience, it's written with depth and sensitivity. And very well written at that. Told from the horse's vantage point, it's a wrenching perspective which will cause each of us to reconsider the broader impact of war. If it's not, it should be, a classic.
reviewed War Horse on + 3352 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Michael Morpurgo is one of the best of todays Historical Novel writers. He has chosen to write for youth - and this is good because this genre gives lots of facts in an interesting story. Very relevant for today - you get a good picture of war and what it does to people as well as to animals. The horse tells the story. Also interesting because it gives the final demise of cavalry in WWI.
reviewed War Horse on
Helpful Score: 1
if you like war storys or horses this is the right book for u
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jjares avatar reviewed War Horse on + 2948 more book reviews
In spite of this story essentially being about war, I found it to be an uplifting story about the powerful bond between man and animal. In times of intense stress (war) that symbiotic relationship is even more important to man and horse.

The star of the story is Joey, a thoroughbred/draft horse mix. He doesn't understand a great deal of what is going on about him, but he is intuitive about who will treat him well. There are people who speak differing languages and wear different uniforms, but Joey copes. Because, when one of those people strokes Joey in kindness, he knows things will be all right. Several have given a synopsis of this story, so I won't add to it. They've done an outstanding job.

This is a gut-wrenching book to read. It is aimed at 9 to 12-year-olds. I think this book is about relationships. As long as man and horse live in kind relationships with themselves and the other, things will be all right. It is only when we try to live without each other's emotional bond, that we get into trouble. Joey never loses his faith and so he survives.

This year, I've been trying to read more classics; WAR HORSE is what I'd call a 'new classic.' It will live on because it has a powerful message for any age. The reader grows in understanding about life because of the people Joey meets. This is such a wonderful tale for everyone.
reviewed War Horse on
I was surprised to find this was a book for children. I enjoy children's books, but was expecting this one to be for adults. It is more suitable for 4th or 5th grade readers. I wanted to read it before I saw the movie, but would not have ordered it if I had known this before.
reviewed War Horse on + 353 more book reviews
I loved the book which is sad, but gives the view of what these animals went through during the war. I havent seen the movie to compare it to, but this is a great read for anyone who is an animal lover or war hero.
SuziL avatar reviewed War Horse on + 25 more book reviews
After seeing the preview for the movie, I just had to read this book. It was very poignant to see war through an animal's eyes....many tissues required for this story!


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