BBC Home
Explore the BBC



Last Updated: Thursday December 09 2004 14:24 GMT

Book: War Horse

War Horse book review
Michael Morpurgo

Publication date
11 November 2004 (re-published to mark the 90th anniversary of the First World War)


The story
Joey is a horse but not a normal horse. He understands several languages, and has written a book!

Yes, this book has been written from the point of view of Joey, a young farm horse who is sent out to war with soldiers.

Although he doesn't want to leave his owner Albert, he has several adventures in France.

Some of the stories he tells are funny and some show the harsh realities of war.

Joey is eventually captured - will he and Albert ever meet again?

The characters
Albert is Joey's first owner and his best friend. They live on a farm in Devon, with another horse, Zoey. Topthorn is a horse who works on the battlefront. Emilie is a French girl who lovingly cares for the horses.

Seeing through the eyes of Joey makes reading about World War One more interesting than just another history lesson.

The latest edition of War Horse also has really atmospheric colour illustrations.

Any weak bits?
Sometimes it is hard to believe that a horse can understand English, French and German. You really have to use your imagination for that bit of the story!

It is a thrilling and moving story and if you enjoyed Black Beauty you will love this book!

Have YOU read this book?

This was a really compelling book which I just couldn't put down. As I read the pages I felt Joey's pain and sorrow as he fought in the war and was passed to different owners. Micheal Morpurgo has created a beautifully written novel which I ask everybody to read.
Tony, 12, Ipswich

An excellent book!!! Michael Morpurgo is an AMAZING author - I've read almost ALL his books!!!
Hannah, 13, Glasgow

I think it is a moving book, very beautiful with a very imaginative storyline, which will only appeal to children with very, very vivid imaginations!
Kitty, 10, Birmingham

I really liked this book, I didn't really mind that a horse speaking 3 languages isn't very realistic! I picked the book off the shelf as I like horses but when I started reading it I couldn't put it down!
Joanna, 13, Coventry

BBC Homepage >> | CBBC Homepage >>

Meet the Team | Help | Contact Us | News sources | Privacy & Cookies Policy