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Billy the Kid

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  388 ratings  ·  31 reviews
Billy the Kid is 80 today, and looks back over his life. His adventures include going off to war, living rough as a tramp, and best of all, being picked to play football for Chelsea.
Paperback, 128 pages
Published January 5th 2009 by HarperCollins (first published 2000)
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Catherine McDonald
Billy the Kid by Michael Morpurgo
`I was faster than all the kids twice my age and somehow I could always make a football do whatever I wanted it to. It just came easy to me, I don’t know why, but it did.’
The only thing Billy every wanted to do was to play for Chelsea. This is a wonderful story about Billy who is now eighty. When he was younger his dream came true and he was picked to play for Chelsea but the war interrupted his plan as it was 1939. I found this book magical when looking at how
Alma Begum
Billy the Kid by Michael Morpurgo illustrated by Michael Foreman.

This story is based during the time of World War 2. It is about a young boy called Billy. He is extremely skillful at football and plays for Chelsea. Things start to go well for him and he starts to get recognized by people. Then unfortunately World War 2 starts and everyone has to join the army. Billy joins and gets severely injured. When he returns back from war. His family home has been destroyed and he has lost all his family.
Natalie Chalaby
This book turns out to be one of Michael Morpurgo’s most intriguing children’s books, since it is the story of a young boy ‘Billy the Kid’ (as his team mates call him), who plays for Chelsea football team and how his life radically changes when he goes off to war.
The story is extremely informative about the Second World War and Billy’s exploits, even how at one point he becomes a prisoner of war. When Billy returns from war with an injury to find that his house in London has been bombed and his
Benjamin Stahl
Yeah, I remember reading this book.
But I ain't gonna give it no proper review.


The Naked News is on in five minutes, and my mum's gone out shopping for my weekly supply of potato chips.
She won't be back for a while, coz I only eat Skips, and in these modern times of mass-unemployment, and the media's weekly runnings of Who Wants To Be A Fucking Pedophile?, you can't find the damned things anywhere.


Michael Mor ... Mora ... Puego? Fuck it.
This Guy wrote that movie called 'War Horse'. Apparently
Billy the Kid is written through the voice of eighty year old Billy, who is reminiscing about his own life as a child to the present day. When Billy was a kid, he was obsessed with football, and ended up lining out for Chelsea footballers as a teenager. Everyone had high hopes for Billy, but these were short-lived as the war broke out in 1939, shortly after Billy’s football debut.
Billy’s dad had warned him and his brother Joe that they were never to fight in any war. Joe went to battle against
The story is told by Billy, who is now eighty years old. As a young boy Billy loved playing football. His dream was to play for his favourite football club Chelsea. When Billy turned 17 his dream finally came true and he signed for Chelsea. This was 1939, and it started off as the best year of Billy’s life but then the war started. Billy’s life changes completely when his brother dies in the war. He decides to give up his career in football to join the army. Shortly after joining the army he is ...more
Eugenia Fernandez
I read this book with my 11 year old class (I teach English as a second language in Buenos Aires, Argentina) and it was a real success especially among the boys, since it deals with the topic of football and war.
The girls also loved it but thought it was a bit too sad.
It was a fantastic book to have a glimpse of the WW2 and do a bit of history work with young students.
I loved the way it was written, using flashbacks and always hearing the same voice (old Billy or young Billy) and really gettin
I've just started work as a school librarian and this is one author who has come up time and time again so I thought I'd try one of his books. Football isn't my thing but I loved the story and can see why boys in particular are partial to Morpurgo. I've passed this book on to my 8 year old son. The combination of football and second world war will be enticing for any young boy. I'll definitely be reading more books by this author so that I know what I'm talking about when I recommend them to you ...more
David Slattery

This is the story of an elderly man whose professional footballing career was put on hold by the second world war. It deals with his war experiences, and his struggles to adjust to life in Britain thereafter (for multiple reasons).

It's an easy, racy, read. The subject matter is moving and emotional. Although it uses simple language, its power isn't lessened by this. I feel the novel works in making the reader respond personally to think how Billy might feel. The novel doesn't need lengthy descri
Andy Turner
I read this a couple of books ago to my 8 year old son and 6 year old daughter. It was quite hard going for them in places and we talked about the story and characters and what happens in war quite a bit before and after readings. Generally we read through to the end of the next very short chapter with the old man in the park observing. The story in several places had me almost losing my voice and welling up. It is very emotive, deep and tells of one man's story of war. There is a harrowing murd ...more
Joseph Helou
I enjoyed reading Billy the Kid a lot. This book is about a boy aged in his late teenage years named Billy. It is set in 1939. Ever since he was young he’s had a passion for football, whether it was watching it or playing it. He was very talented and his dad trained him regularly. After his dad died, a man named Ossie began to train him. He turned out to be a scout for Chelsea Football Club, which Billy joined soon after. He became a regular in their reserves team until 1939. He stopped playing ...more
Melanie Stand
just stunning, the parallel story-telling is fantastic and makes the story more real, my two boys really enjoyed this book. Another Murpurgo classic.
Dylan Kawalec
Unless you're from there, and a fan of the team, and remember the war as your own this doesn't hot home at all. You just get a slight sense of joy for the old geezer at the end. It's a feel good play, and it's not as dramatic as it should be. It's funny at times, but it's not the best play with no real meaning behind it at all. It's there so you see the circle of life's events, but who didn't know that exists? I don't know, it wasn't my favorite, nothing against the playwright at all though.
At first, I thought it's about a kid's story named Billy. I was wrong then. It's more about Billy's life who lived in his childhood dream to be Chelsea player. But it's nice story afterall.
Shiraz Esat
This book had me in tears four or five times! Beautifully written with lovely illustrations. Although written for children, there's a lot adults can learn from this
K. Carters
This is a book I have to teach to my Year 7 group next year and I found it has potential. A huge fan of Morpurgo, I didn't think this was on par with his other stuff...not much is, so nothing to worry about there! I liked the story and the way that the same person can be football hero, war hero, drunk and old man -it has potential to raise questions and get the students to imagine a story behind each person. The only reason I wasn't as keen is the style. It feels like old man talking to himself ...more
Insight into one man's life in pre/post World War II England. He was a famous football player for Chelsea before war. Great story!
Short story but written with true words.
Armaan Kapadia
This book is about Billy. Who was a very skilled football player when he was young. He grows up as his brother joins the war, and his brother dies soon after that. He joins the war to serve for his brother. He finishes it and returns home excited to tell his family, but as soon as he reaches home, he realizes that during the war, a V2 bomb hit his family's house and they all passed away. He gets lonely for a while but soon makes some friends.
Bought this for the convention as it was one of Morpurgo's I haven't read but would like to!

Relatively short, but about a really interesting topic....I think it will go down well with younger boys!

"Billy the Kid is 80 today, and looks back over his life. His adventures include going off to war, living rough as a tramp, and best of all, being picked to play football for Chelsea."
Jane Cosford
This book is a moving portrayal into a life lived. And what a life...Read out loud to my daughters And we couldn't put it down. We enjoyed his highs and felt his lows and were touched by his losses. BIlly, BIlly the Kid they chanted as they went up the stairs to bed. I still have a lump in my throat thinking of Lucia, her mother, the boy in the cot.
Rebekka-Mary Darling
Really good book for children.
It is my brother's book and I read it totally out of boredom at my mums house, but it turned out being one of the best children's books I have read. My brother on the other hand didn't appreciate it and he is eleven.
Maybe it is one of those books that mean more once we are a bit older.
Buy it!
I bought a set of MM books as there were several on the wishlist of a Bookcrosser. Those that aren't on that list are now on my TBR! I am thoroughly enjoying reading them. They are well written with great storylines.
Joseph Helou
I really like this book because it contains scenes when people go to war and football. It is also sad because the man dies and his wife and son become sad.
This book was ok but was deffinetly good enough to read quite fast! Overall a fairly good read.
Another excellect story for boys which once again touches upon the war.
Paul Blakemore
Kid's book. Not his best by a long shot. Plus it's about Chelsea
joanne littleton
I haven't read it in a while but as I remember it was a good book
Moving short story that involves football and the war.
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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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