Book Review: War Horse by Michael Morpurgo

Michael Morpurgo's children's book, War Horse, crosses the limits of being a children's book... it turns into a beautiful product of light... showing the high level of strong bond between animals and humans. Adults should read: War Horse.


War Horse is the story of a young colt – Joey who is sold off at an auction and separated from her mother. Further on in the story, the connection between Joey and Albert is absolutely touching. After Joey is bought by Albert's father, the short-lived happy friendship between the horse and Albert leaves both of them heart-broken due to separation. The youth, Albert, follows his gut feeling about finding Joey who has been bought by the military forces for war purposes. He enlists to serve in the army, and the background is of the period of World War-1.


The plot depicts the year around 1914, when Joey, while living those times at the wrecked farmhouse has to go through the agony of war and destruction, because Joey is employed by the military forces to work for them. The scenes of suffering and death surface powerfully through the versatility of Michael Morpurgo's style of writing. The novel recounts the experiences of Joey working day and night at the frontline, the tragic meaning of war is very well unveiled by the author. Apart from horse lovers falling in love with this book, plenty of other readers will take an instant liking to the book.


In 2007, the book became an award winning play. The film adaptation by Steven Spielberg was in 2011. As the author, Michael Morpurgo has won the Whitbread Award, the Smarties Award, The Circle of Gold Award, The Children's Book Award, and was short-listed for the Carnegie Medal 4 times.


War Horse unlocks the raging emotions of wartime issues... issues of relationships and circumstances... connections between animals and humans. The story resonates about courage, love and much more.


War Horse published by the Scholastic in the United States sold more than 2,00,000 in print.


War Horse was published in 1982 by Kaye & Ward.

Geeta Chhabra

The diarist enjoyed the opportunity of reading War Horse with her granddaughter for her school assignment.

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