Book Review: War Horse, by Michael Morpurgo

war_horse_coverThis book review is part of series of reviews written by students at St. Margaret’s Episcopal School for their 7th grade English classes.

War Horse by Michael Morpurgo is a fiction story that is filled with passion, inspiration, and loyalty. Thorough out this book the author reveals surprises in between twisted mysteries that make you not want to miss a part or even set the book down. Michael Morpurgo is an English author, poet, playwright and librettist, best known for his work in children’s literature. He was the third Children’s Laureate. War Horse is his most famous piece of work.

War Horse begins with a young colt name Joey living out his days next to his strong, healthy mother. But this was not going to last for long. When Joey was only a young horse, he was taken to the auction with his mother. Two different people fought for the two horses. The colt and his mother said their last goodbye before turning back to back and going their separate ways. Joey was bought by a young boy name Albert that immediately fell in love with him. The two were inseparable. Albert taught Joey to plow and work on the farm. He also lived with another horse named Topthorn. “Topthorn was the first horse I had ever come across that I felt could challenge me for strength, but there was also a kindness in his eye that held no threat for me” (18). However, Albert’s dad was not pleased with Albert’s new treasure. This began a long and hard disagreement.

The conflict in this story was uprising fast. After Albert and his father finally got over their huge disagreement. Albert’s father without Albert knowing took Joey back to town and sold him to the military to pull heavy machinery and to plow the fields. Soon after Joey was gone, Albert found Joey’s stall empty and his heart sank. Albert sprinted into town to find that only the general was still there. Without taking a moment to think, Albert signed up for the military to go after his beloved Joey.

If you are a person that really enjoys strong stories about relationships between animals and people, then this is the book for you. Joey and Albert both show strong bonds towards each other. In this book, trust plays a big role in the life of both Joey and Albert. At some points in the book Albert trusts Joey with his life and in other parts Joey has to relay on Albert to be his voice. “Any problem can be solved between people if only they can trust each other” (127). This book has many themes. Most are impressive and hard to find. War Horse is one of my favorites and I look forward to seeing other people reading this incredible fiction book.

In conclusion, I would highly recommend War Horse to anyone ages 10 and up. I would choose this book for ages 10 and up because there are a few words that are of a higher level and there are a couple advanced death scenes in the book. But overall, this is an incredible book for both horse lovers and people that enjoy loyal stories. Is Joey ever reunited at the farm with Albert? I don’t know. You have to read it to find out.

-Alexandra L., 7th grade

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