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War Horse (War Horse #1)

4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  19,680 ratings  ·  2,721 reviews
A powerful tale of war, redemption, and a hero's journey.

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...more
Hardcover, 165 pages
Published April 1st 2007 by Scholastic Press (first published 1982)
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Small Books can often leave big impressions and this is the case with War Horse by Michael Morpurgo.

Michael Murpurgo writes wonderful children's novels and I had loved some of his books very much and War Horse is one of those books that leaves a lasting impression.

This is not a novel with a complicated plot or twists and turns but a beautiful story simply told and I find sometimes these can be the best.

Warhorse is a moving story about a horse called Joey and his experiences during service in th...more
I listened to this on audio and was listening to this while making my way to a ‘gig’ at Wooster College in Ohio, where I was to draw caricatures. Drawing caricatures for the public requires a certain amount of upbeat interaction, so it might not have been a good time to cry over Joey the War Horse. I hope my Eyes weren’t all puffy.

Joey is a special horse. Special enough to be purchased to serve in the first world war as a Calvary horse. But the whole time he is in the war he longs for the day he...more

A book about war. About fighting and surviving.

A book about friendship and loyalty. And about death and grief and moving on.

Written from the POV of a horse, this book was absolutely breathtaking. And honetsly, not only the book. I cried when I read the book and I cried even harder when I watched the movie.
It was one of the few books I read that was actually about WWI. Since so many books are about the Second World War I was very intrigued about a book that pictured the First one!

The main part i...more
Karen & Gerard
This is a double wow book for me! Joey, the war horse, tells about his adventures during World War 1 and the special bond he has with a young boy named Albert. At only 160 pages or so, it goes very fast. I loved it! I look forward to seeing the movie which is coming out on Christmas.
(Gerard's review)

War Horse is a touching book that kept my interest all through. Although it is a children's book, I enjoyed it but must admit I got teary-eyed reading it. Parts were very sad but I loved the ending!...more
I'm clearly the only person in the world who doesn't like, doesn't get, this book.

The horse is a Gary Stu (See here if you don't know what one of those is - he knows everything, from what guns and cannons are, to what wire is and what it can do, the terms for everythng in his world, including politics and the type of bit in his mouth.

I'm used to anthropomorphic animals, and have been since I was born--but Joey should be dressed up in a waistcoat and walking...more
I read this book after watching and loving the movie. I struggled with a 3 or 4 star rating, but as with most books, the ending made me give it the higher. The ending paragraph was different/odd.. Not my way of a good ending, ending. (the last paragraph)
Inspirational? Not really. Worth reading? Yep.
This review is part of my Poppies & Prose feature.

3.5 stars

"I tell you, if we had one jot of the courage of these animals we should be in Paris by now and not slugging it out here in the mud... It was not their fault they were sent on a fool's errand. They are not circus animals, they are heroes, do you understand, heroes, and they should be treated as such."

So I have to admit when I first started reading this book, I didn’t have high expectations.
There are three reasons for this:
1) It’s...more
A very touching and sensitive story involving the friendship between a former British farmer and his horse. With the beginning of World War I, both friends have a separate life in France but the destiny bring them together with all the suffering which came by the end of this War.

Another two sensitive books with similar subject should be mentioned here: Black Beauty by Anna Sewell and Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand. In the latest, the horse is not a character/narrator himself as opposite of the...more
Tristan Robin Blakeman
Very interesting book...and quite touching, in a clean and non-cloying way.

I am familiar with the play, so I knew the basic plot line. I wish I had read the book first ... the play is SO powerful - and so theatrically charged with the larger-than-life stage puppets who play the horses - that the book seemed somewhat small to me. But, that's okay. It's really a small story - even though it's played against the world stage during intense and climatic moments.

It was a surprise to find the book is w...more
Review from Badelynge.
I was drawn to this book after seeing the life-sized horse puppets in the theatrical version of War Horse. Former UK Children's Laureate Michael Morpurgo usually has an entire shelf dedicated to him in most British book shops and this one, written nearly 30 years ago is one I can recommend to both children and adults alike. It tells the story of Joey, a half-thoroughbred red bay bought by a drunken farmer to spite another and beloved of the farmer's son. The events of 1913...more
I'd never heard of this book - nor of Michael Morpurgo - until I worked at the Edinburgh Book Festival a couple of years ago. I'm not sure why such a prolific and popular author passed me by when I was little (some of my co-workers at the EBF were horrified by this), so I review this entirely as an adult.

War Horse is, of course, very popular right now. With a Spielberg film in the cinema, the book has apparently sold more copies in the UK over the last two weeks than it did internationally in 25...more
Zane Bērzleja
Grāmatas “Kara zirgs” autors ir Maikls Morpurgo. Autors visus savus 68 gadus ir pavadījis Anglijā, dzīvojis un rakstījis savus darbus, ko dara vēlaizvien. Romānu “Kara zirgs” viņš sarakstīja 1982. gadā, kas 2012. gadā tika iestudēts arī uz kino ekrāniem, piesaistīdams lielāku lasītāju loku. Notikumi vijās ap Pirmo Pasaules karu 1914. gadā, galvenokārt Francijā, un autors ir izveidojis apbrīnojamu kara romānu no savādāka skata punkta, kas ir grūti iedomājams.
Šajās lapaspusēs ir stāsts par zirga...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
3.5* Grade B/B-

I bought this on a whim on during a $4.95 sale. It's under 5 hours long, but worth the price. The story is basically Black Beauty meets World War I, including being told from the horse's point-of-view. This book was more about the evil's of war than a treatise on animal cruelty, but mostly it was about hope and love and loyalty.

The narration was decent, but there was an odd sort of lilt to the voice, especially when speaking dialog.

The book was originally written in...more
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

In a nutshell: War Horse is a heartfelt and emotional story of war, friendship and survival.

I love historical fiction and I'm always surprised when I think of the small amount of books I've read that are set in WWI. I'm even more surprised when I think about how long I went without having a book like War Horse on my shelf. Not only is this book one of my favourites of the genre, but it's also one of my favourites period.

I'm not sure if this novel or Black Beauty's Family came first, but Black Beauty's Family is much better.

This isn't to say that War Horse is bad, it's not. But outside its complete debt to Black Beauty (and the ups and down mirror that book extactly), the book is cliche after cliche. All the boy and his horse cliches are here as well as 90% of all the war ones.

Still, it's not a bad book, but there is a surprisely lack of place. I understand that it's a children's book, but so was Black Beauty an...more
The book and the movie were different in several ways. Point of view was an obvious one. Because the horse tells the story in the book, the similarities between the 2 enemy combatants are more evident. I think the author’s anti-war position comes through more clearly in the book. The part about plowing the field was also different. The scene of the selling of the horse to the army is identical.
Here are my favorite quotes:
Worked hard because of bond of trust and devotion. P. 31
“We are the same o...more
Katie Kerns
War Horse
By: Michael Morpurgo

Joey is the main character of this historical fiction novel set at the start of World War 1 in England in 1914. Joey is a horse and he tells this story.
Joey was bought at an auction by a mean man who only bid on him so another farmer couldn't have him. Joey is taken to his farm and meets the farmer’s son Albert. Joey and Albert are instant friends and they work together on the farm plowing and preparing the fields. One day Albert is away ringing the bells at church...more
This book, told from the perspective of a horse, is like an old-fashioned children's novel. Joey is a horse who as a small colt is sold to a farmer who is quite good tempered when he isn't drunk, but cruel when he is. Luckily, the farmer's son loves and cares for Joey. When the farmer sells the grown Joey to the British Army to serve as a cavalry horse in the early days of WWI, Joey starts an oddyssey that brings him into contact with many owners, both kind and cruel. The language in Morpugo's n...more
Oct 18, 2014 M rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Intellegent 10-15 years old
Finished this book within hours, since it was quite light (children's fiction). Although it was set during the Great War of 1914-1917 - and from a very unique prespective: Joey, a magnificent horse. He (I think I could never address horses as 'it' ever again) passes from hand to hand, his beauty is covered with blood and mud, he gets attached to the black stallion and to the people who love him, and goodbye is harder than he thought. He experience the soldier's pain and deep hopeless fear and se...more
I'm not one of those people who overly adore animals or audiobooks, but the narrator for this book was phenomenal. His accents for the different nationalities spurred my imagination on and made this story that much more enjoyable. Had this not been required reading I'd never have chosen to read it on my own. I would definitely mark this as a new favorite. The lessons that this book holds about war and humanity were awe inspiring. I urge everyone to read it or listen to the audiobook. War Horse c...more
Jennifer Dudley
I am worried as I read this that a horse will die. I am hoping against it. I love that it is narrated by the horse. LOVE!!!

This book was really good. Super. Sweeter ending I couldn't have imagined.
Olivia Dan
A quick airplane read that had me in tears at certain points. I always enjoy a good children's book that is centered around an animal.
Will Byrnes
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I saw the play based on this book in London and it was perhaps the best theater I've ever seen, so I read the book, too, but I was a bit disappointed. It's a children's book, but perfectly readable for adults. It's aimed at maybe early teens and the vocabulary is complex; Morpurgo does not write down to his audience. My disappointment is only relative, though; it's still a very moving story beautifully told.

Joey is the horse in War Horse and the narrator of the book, which traces his experience...more
Oct 23, 2013 Chase added it
War Horse by Michael Morpurgo
- The mother's or father's names were not identified throught the story, and there child's name is Albert. The narrarator is Albert's horse Joey.
- Joey is a young horse who has come to love his owner Albert, but Joey ends up as a horse used in World War One. Joey ends up fighting on the German side and British side and he gets many new owners on his journey. Now Albert embarks on an adventure to find Joey.
- The conflict is that Joey's father enters Joey into the war...more
nessie tavariel
Given the fact that every review I've read of the movie said that it was an extremely long, ridiculously boring, snore-fest of a movie and they could hardly sit through it, I was expecting something a little more...well, long and boring! So I was quite pleasantly surprised to find this wasn't so. I suppose I might have found it a little bit boring if it had been longer; no intensely exciting battle scenes (don't get me wrong--there were battle scenes, but they were all very brief and slightly un...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
For children who love horses and horse stories, this young-adult fictional story is a good way to introduce them to the realities of war, specifically World War 1, as seen and told through the eyes of a horse names Joey.

The story follows Joey from his foal-hood in England, being trained by an English boy named Albert, until he is then sold to the Army for the war effort. We then get to see, hear, feel and experience the war, with all of its death and destruction, through Joey's eyes, before he i...more
Francesca Tomassi
This was a fun read and allowed your imagination to conjure up wonderful images. It is narrated by Joey the horse which offers a particularly interesting insight.

It is about a horse called Joey and his incredible journey. Ted Narracott buys Joey and gives him to his son Albert. However when the First World War begins, Joey is sold to the cavalry and shipped to France. He is looked after by Captain Nicholls, however Captain Nicholls is killed in battle and Joey is captured by the German Army. Thi...more
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UEL Primary PGCE ...: Book Review 6 - War Horse 1 4 Sep 05, 2014 05:02AM  
UEL Primary PGCE ...: Jane's review 3 (War Horse by Michael Morpurgo) 1 4 Aug 31, 2014 07:40AM  
Radio 4 Play 1 9 Aug 02, 2014 05:15AM  
Near & Far: War Horse. 5 7 Apr 08, 2014 11:30AM  
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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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“I can hate you more, but I'll never love you less.” 91 likes
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