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Friend or Foe

3.91  ·  Rating Details ·  1,009 Ratings  ·  83 Reviews
'There was nothing threatening or frightening about them, they were just two exhausted, pale-looking men with sad eyes and kind faces. These were the men who had bombed London and Plymouth and killed thousands. Yet one of them had saved his life.' It's the Second World War, and the Germans are bombing London. Everyone hates them, especially David: they killed his father. N ...more
Paperback, 112 pages
Published September 1st 2001 by Egmont (first published 1979)
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Hannah Lassey
Aug 08, 2013 Hannah Lassey rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 04, 2012 Katie rated it it was amazing
The Germans are bombing London and every day people are dying in the Blitz. Everyone at school hates the Germans, especially David because they killed his father and caused him to be evacuated from his home in Islington to Devon in the country to live with strangers. So when a German soldier rescues David and asks him for help, he is faced with a dilemma: to help the enemy or not?
Friend or Foe would be suitable for class based reading in year 4 and 5, and independent reading in year 6. The theme
Jan 22, 2012 Laura rated it liked it
I did this book with my Year 4 class on school experience and they loved it. I really enjoyed it too :) It's about two evacuees, David and Tucky, who are evacuated from London to the countryside during the war. While they think they are far from the reality of war, one night they come across an injured German soldier. Gun-flashes, the distant crump of bombing miles away soon brings the war to their doorstep and shatters their new-found peace. This book allowed children to develop their knowledge ...more
Naomi Sarah
Nov 17, 2016 Naomi Sarah rated it liked it
*thumbs up*
Sep 16, 2011 Cathy rated it it was amazing
Friend or Foe tells the story of David and Tucky, as they are evacuated to Exeter from Blitz torn London during the Second World War. We follow the two as they go through the heart rending process of being selected by their new carers, and then settling in to their new homes and schools. The experience is particularly difficult for David as he has already lost his father during the the war, and he is terrified of losing his mother too.
The peaceful world of rural Devon seems a million miles away
Oct 23, 2015 Mathew rated it liked it
Shelves: ww2, death, evacuee
Unique Literacy Point:
It offers the argument that being a German soldier during the Second World War (any war, in fact) does make you an evil person. I also like the idea of asking the question: what happens when you save someone you hate?

The first thing that struck me was the publication date (1977!). I hadn't realised that Morpurgo had been writing for so long. It clearly took decades for him to become an established name. This made me want to read his books in chronoloigcal order to see if
Kevin O'Driscoll
Jan 23, 2013 Kevin O'Driscoll rated it really liked it
Michael Morpurgo is a world renowned children's author. Like many of his stories this tale is set in Britain during World War Two. Two boys, David and Tucky, leave London and move to the English countryside with their families to avoid the constant enemy bombings. When a German bomber crashes the two boys stumble upon the scene. While they feel that they should hate these men who survived the crash, they cannot. I think this book is well suited to upper KS2 children as the two boys in the story ...more
May 12, 2016 Andrew rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An early & promising effort by Michael Morpurgo from 1977...inspired by Nina Bawden's classic 'Carrie's War' & other childrens' writers trope of youth's fascination for strangers & ex-cathedra figures? - in this case of two Islington boys, evacuees David & Tucky, in 1939-40 Devon, two Luftwaffe bomber-crew with non-Nazi sentiments, & an exotic farming couple, the Reynolds, with rare patience & insight! A satisfactory outcome ensues - but only after some adventures for our ...more
Katie Padfoot
Mar 09, 2016 Katie Padfoot rated it liked it
wonderful children's story about world war two. i think i would have loved this a child.
Richard Greenwood
Feb 13, 2017 Richard Greenwood rated it liked it
Short and sweet. Lacks any real depth for experienced readers to chew on. I used this for a small group in my class to explore inference and deduction. This text is also useful for drama and role play activities, to explore different characters points of view.
Read this over one half term, that's all it needs really.
Oct 16, 2016 Tim rated it liked it
Cute short story.
Aug 23, 2013 Jenny rated it it was amazing
Friend or Foe by Michael Morpurgo

It’s World War 2 (WW2) and the Germans are bombing London. Everyone is being evacuated, no one knows how long the war will last or if they will ever see their families again. David and his friend Tucky from school have just been evacuated to live with strangers on a farm in Devon. At the age of 10, David has already lost his father to the War and he is now also being separated from his mother.

David and Tucky soon settle into their new lives in the countryside as
Dave Gaffney
Sep 02, 2014 Dave Gaffney rated it really liked it
This book tells the story of two evacuees, David and Tucky, who find themselves whisked from London and the blitz to a sleepy village in Devon. The first part of the book deals with the boys’ anxiety about leaving home and all things familiar to them.
Luckily, they land on their feet and are ‘adopted’ by a friendly farming couple. As they are settling into rural life, the war is brought back to them when a German bomber crash lands in the moorland behind their new home. When one of the surviving
Dec 23, 2010 Anne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Friend Or Foe is one of Michael Morpurgo's earliest books, written and first published in 1977. This is the ideal story to read during November, the month of Rememberance Day. Aimed at older children, the story centres around two London school boys, David and Tucky. The two boys are evacuees and are living on a farm on the moors of Devon.
David's Father has been dead for a year, shot down by a German plane - David hates the Germans. The two boys find themselves living with a kind and caring and
Katy Noyes
Feb 20, 2016 Katy Noyes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Morpurgo's common themes - war, friendship, courage - each play a role in this fairly short story set in World War 2. I listened to the audiobook (only 2 discs).

As usual, the language is straightforward, Morpurgo manages to evoke a sense of time and place as we watch best friends David and Tucky become evacuees and learn to live on a farm. It has a few moments of pathos and is perfect for classroom reading or for solo readers who enjoy a simple but informative read.

Much of the story follows the
Jul 26, 2011 Derek rated it liked it
The Germans are bombing London and every day people are dying in the Blitz. Everyone hates them, especially David because they killed his father and caused him to be sent to the country to live with strangers. So when a German soldier rescues David and asks him for help, he is faced with a dilemma.

I liked this book because of its beautiful descriptions of the way David is sent away to live with the strangers on the Devon Farm. A very compelling book, it always forced me to read on! Alas, this is
Gail Jones
Apr 26, 2013 Gail Jones rated it it was amazing

This is a simple little story of two boys evacuated from London to the countryside. It covers the emotional parting, the nerves of new experiences and some great country characters.

When the boys see a German plane come down over the moors they have a heard time getting the locals to believe them, especially as no plane or Germans can be found despite an exhaustive search. However, later when one of the boys falls in the river and is rescued by one of the Germans the boys have a dilemma. Do they
I generally enjoy children's fiction just as much as YA or adult, but I found this one a little bit hard to get into at first, primarily because of the writing style, which isn't exactly my cup of tea. However, Friend or Foe is an interesting read, and Morpurgo an excellent story teller. This story of two evacuees from London who stumble across two German soldiers is enjoyable and engaging, even as an older reader, and would clearly be even more so for primary school children. Morpurgo refrains ...more
Jan 01, 2013 Henry rated it liked it
I like this book because I like the setting of the book and how the story developed. I would like to recommend this book to children that are below thirteen years old so they can feel the ways that the two boys in the book felt. My favorite part was when the two boys were helping the two German because I felt surprised why the kids helped the two German but the German attacked their country. If I am in the story I will do the same thing . The two boys in the story were believable I actually thin ...more
Sally Flint
Nov 27, 2015 Sally Flint rated it liked it
A lovely little read enabling discussion of when two countries are at war does that mean all the people also have to be at war. This story traces the life of a young boy who has to go live on a farm as an evacuee and is cared for by a kind farmer and his wife. An enemy plane crashes and is sighted by the boy and his friend, the question is then, what should they do when they discover some of the crew still alive. A short read, but a very powerful text for exploring the morality of war. A great b ...more
Feb 08, 2014 Emmy rated it really liked it
We read this book in year 4 and found it interesting and great. David is an evacuated to Devon from London with his best friend Tony Tucker. They get put in a nice home but one day when they find an interesting discovery what could change his life for ever.
Historical fiction by Michel Morpurgo, who has written many other books, including warhorse, and will defiantly become one of his most acclaimed books.
Aug 13, 2016 Francesca rated it it was ok
I didn't really like this book it had a good story but it just didn't get to me because it was like one of his other books so I kind of knew what was going to happen. Also I read it very quickly because it was a short book and I thought it dragged half way through the start and in the middle. I rcommend this book to seven to ten years old as it won't give a challenge to older children, which is not good, because we can't learn any new words.
Jul 26, 2011 Kingfan30 rated it really liked it
As always a brilliant book, the thing I love about this writer is that he takes difficult situations and makes them easy for children to understand but enjoyable at the same time for any reader old or young. I started this last night before bed, but could not quite get through it, my eyes would just not stay open so had to finish the last 20 pages this morning.
Apr 16, 2013 Lucía rated it it was ok
This was a typical, predictable story set in war times. It was very easy to guess what was coming next and even though there really was war times it was not that realistic. I don't think Michael Morpurgo did a good job of describing the characters either. I would rate this book 3 out of 10 and would not recommend.
Apr 19, 2016 Laura rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
I read this book with my Year 3 class and they absolutely loved it, and so did I. The issues with morality and war, and the struggles that soldiers and evacuees alike faced were well explored whilst keeping the plot interesting and engaging. The message of the book was clear throughout and I'd recommend it to people of all ages, not only children. Michael Morpurgo is a gift among authors.
Apr 21, 2014 Powerfulbookman rated it it was ok
I felt this book was interesting yet not much was going on!
It played with the idea that the germans were just people like you and me- but strangely enough I found this book to lose me near the middle. The first part was full of fun and adventure yet sadness. But sadly, it lacked in the midddle.
Alltoghether I found this book to be slightly intruiguing yet dissapointing.2/5
Aug 01, 2011 Emma rated it really liked it
A great book about life as an evacuee during the second world war. David and Tucky travel with the rest of their school to Devon where they are taken in by Mr Reynolds and his wife, Ann. I like how Morpurgo covers issues such as 'fitting in' in a new environment and the moral issues of when a German bomber saves David's life.

A good read and not disappointed.
Rupert Matthews
Jan 11, 2015 Rupert Matthews rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this little book. Ok it is not really aimed at adults, but nevertheless it was a well paced story with lots of good historical details and well drawn characters as well as a plot that kept you guessing right up to the end. I recommend this for anyone aged over 9 years old - including us oldies.
Jan 10, 2013 Jack rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
For book reviews and more, please visit my book blog, The Book Stop

Boring! A very unrealistic story line. There was no climax and it was very bland. I didn't expect much anyway. I was yawning throughout the whole story. The characters were annoying and unlikable. At least it wasn't the worst book i read. Overall, a short read that I won't be reading again.
Jan 11, 2014 Abbey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
I bought this book recently after being reminded of enjoying it as a child. Michael Morpurgo's books are enchanting and thought provoking for any age group and this one is no exception. 'Friend or Foe' is a powerful story with great morals. The only problem I would have with it as an adult reader is that it's very short and quick paced, thus a perfect children's book.
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Michael Morpurgo is the author of many books for children, five of which have been made into films. He also writes his own screenplays and libretti for opera. Born in St Albans, Hertfordshire, in 1943, he was evacuated to Cumberland during the last years of the war, then returned to London, moving later to Essex. After a brief and unsuccessful spell in the army, he took up teaching and started to ...more
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