Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Private Peaceful. Michael Morpurgo” as Want to Read:
Private Peaceful. Michael Morpurgo
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Private Peaceful. Michael Morpurgo

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  21,802 ratings  ·  1,607 reviews
Longer novels from Children's Laureate Michael Morpurgo are always a particular treat, and Private Peaceful is no exception. Tragic, surprising and engaging in equal measures, Morpurgo's novel charts both the childhood of young Thomas Peaceful in the early years of the 20th century, and his eventual underage enlistment in the British army to help fight the First World War. ...more
Paperback, 184 pages
Published August 1st 2012 by HarperCollins Children's Books (first published 2003)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.19  · 
Rating details
 ·  21,802 ratings  ·  1,607 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Private Peaceful. Michael Morpurgo
A bookclub read which I really enjoyed. Set against the backdrop of World War One, the story follows brothers Charlie and Tommo as they grow up and enlist in Britain's army to fight in the war. Each chapter begins sometime during a long night as Tommo recalls all the adventures and trials he and his family endured together. This book is aimed at 10-14 year olds however adults seem to really enjoy it and it is a great discussion book. ...more
Nov 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Words can't even describe how much this book means to me.

I would recommend it to anyone, especially to other history 'nerds' like me. As it is the type of book that lives on even after you turn the last page. No matter how many times I've read it, it never seems to lose my interest. It is a very popular book used in schools, but I think people of all ages can relate and feel connected in some way to this story and the characters within it, not just children.

After reading I can't help but think
Oct 26, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
The sadest book I have ever read.
I would reccommend this to you all who like to cry over a book, but I warn you to have a tissue when your near the end, because you'll cry your heart out.
This book is passionate and brings you deep, letting you know how the characthers feeling and wishing it could change to a happy ending, but it also tells you what war and true love and brotherly friendship is about.
It tells you how Charlie and Tommo Peaceful come to at the end, and I wish I have never read this
Sep 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
I always finish this boom with tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat. Definitely an all time favourite.

The life of Tommy peaceful and his brother Charlie are documented in this 187 page book. It’s a very quick read as well. I’ve read this many times throughout my life and will continue to do so as it is so well written and it isn’t just a kids book but a book for everyone.

The novels follows their childhood up to their conscription into the army to fight in World War 1 and the difficulties o
Apr 28, 2009 added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Im 13, and we read this book in my english class. Before I read this I never understood WW1 and WW2 but it opened my eyes to the suffering and sadness of it all. I think the author was brilliant to not go straight to the trenches, but go through Tommo's whole life first. I became to love Tommo alot as he grew up, and Charlie too. When they go to war it is just so miserable and sad and I now think all soldiers in the war, and ww2 were complete heroes and dont get enough credit for what they did f ...more
Chelsea slytherink
review also posted on Wordpress! • rating: 1.5 stars *warning: review contains spoilers!*

Don't let my new rating system fool you: this is not an awful book. However, at times, I really disliked reading it. That's why I could only rate this one star.

I had to read this for college, but didn't have time to post a review yet. I had to evaluate whether this could be used in the classroom and create an activity based on the book. Please note I am going to review my own enjoyment (or lack thereof), n
May 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second book I have read of Michael Morpurgo and I loved it. I love it just like the first book. It has left a mark on me, a very deep that will stay with me forever.

The writing was amazing and the plot was just so good.

When reading this I felt all the feelings and I felt extremely attached to all the characters, maybe not the horrible ones but all the nice ones. It has certainly made me feel that what they did and how the soilders were being treating during the first world war. It wa
Mar 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-school, read-2019
I am crying, you're crying, we're all crying
Book Concierge
Adapted from the book jacket: Private Thomas Peaceful has lied about his age and left his family behind to follow his older brother, Charlie, to France to fight in the First World War. Now, Tommo has one almost unendurable night, alone, fighting sleep, to reflect on his life. As the minutes slowly tick by, his memories are full of his childhood in the English countryside. His father, mother, brothers, and first love, Molly, come vividly alive in his mind. But every moment Tommo spends thinking a ...more
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
A British teenage boy follows his brother into the army during World War I and is sent to the trenches in France. Describes how men who broke under the stress of war were shot as deserters. Pair this with Marcus Sedgwick's The Foreshadowing for a grim picture of the realities of war. ...more
May 31, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first read "Private Peaceful" when I was about ten years old and I remember that it had a great impression on me. I borrowed it from the school library without particularly high expectations. I had read some of Morpurgo's work before and although I had enjoyed it I recall thinking that this book looked decidely dull. However, when I began to read the story I found it to be both historically interesting and fantastically gripping. It was the first book that really made me cry which just goes to ...more
This book is a realistic historical fiction novel about a man called Thomas Peaceful. He and his brother are called to fight in WW1, and this book is about the horrors of war and the disasters that destroy Thomas Peaceful's life. I think you would like this book if you like historical fiction and learning about other's lives. ...more
Oct 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fabulous book and very moving. I think it should be compulsory reading for children in schools so that the horror of war is never forgotten.
Cerys Weston (Library of Cerys)
this is one of my favourite childhood books ever, I’ve even read it in welsh aswell lol.
Rob Twinem
Aug 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the most tragic events of the 20th century was the senseless slaughter and sacrifice of many young men on the battlefields of the Somme,Verdun and Passchendaele. The iconic 1914 recruitment poster of Lord Kitchener, wearing a cap of a British Field Marshall, stares and points at the viewer pleading to their sense of allegiance and responsibility by declaring..."Your country needs you" The specially constituted "pals battalions" resulted in friends, neighbours and colleagues enlisting toge ...more
Mar 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In Private Peaceful, a sixteen-year-old boy by the name of Thomas Peaceful lies about his age and goes to fight in the war with his older brother Charlie. There, all they have is each other, even if they have to often be careful what they say around each other. Many unwanted emotions could come up if one of them mentions their mother, who is still back at home, or Thomas's first love, Molly, who ended up marrying Charlie. However, they soon start to worry endlessly about their futures. After all ...more
Jan 07, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kathryn Grabowski

Priavate Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo, is rich in history and leaves the reader pondering the next sequence of events. In World War One the Peaceful's are struggling to keep a house on the Colonel's property with the recent death of their father. A strong possible option is war.

Morpurgo develops both the main character, Thomas, also known as Tommo, and sub characters like real people. The characters are engaging with their human strengths and weaknesses. The characters are developed directly; mo

Feb 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Joey Gyarmathy
Set in Britain in the early 1900s a young boy named Thomas Peaceful, nicknamed Tommo, is faced with incredible hardship. Tommo lives on an estate of a bitterly mean Colonel with his brother Charlie, who often seems to be a hero in the face of figures who threaten Tommo, and their peers,Big Joe, their older brother, who suffers from a mental disability,and their mother who takes good care of all the boys in their mischievous excursions.When Tommo first started school he was faced with difficulty ...more
CoryHoneyBadger SlapAAshliTribeVickers
Thomas Peaceful’s life has not been easy. His father died in a logging accident while saving his life. Thomas's family endures much hardship at the hands of his father's former employer and a great-aunt. Thomas also has to protect his mentally challenged oldest brother, Big Joe. Through the trials and tribulations of his young life, Thomas has his older brother and best friend Charlie by his side.The First World War is at hand when they age up and become madely in love with a girl named Molly.Th ...more
Austin St.
Feb 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story is about a young teenager named Tomas "Tommo" Peaceful. He tells us about the experiences he had living in his home village during World War I. His oldest brother, Big Joe, has learning disabilities and is often times looked out by his younger brothers. Thomas had another brother named Charlie, whom he spent a lot of his time with prior to the war. Before the war, he tells us about the pretty girl named Molly, a wonderful girl he met on the first day of school. Tommo knew from the mome ...more
Leora Cohen-Tigör
Leora Cohen-Tigör
Period 5

The stage is set on the harrowing battlefield. A young man, Private Peaceful, as he is known, is counting down the hours until his untimely death. As the minutes tick by, he watches his life flash in front of his own eyes. He sees how unsure of himself he was as a little child; his ultimate loneliness as his brother leaves him to go off to school. When his brother joins the “Bigguns” in the upper school, he is left stranded with the “Tiddlers”, the lower school
Derek Bruce
Jan 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Charlie, an eighteen year old boy was living a good life, is struck in the face of war, specifically World War I, and is forced to go. The real question is should his younger brother, Tommo, go with him. Tommo and Charlie lived a happy life in England, in a simple little town where no big problems really occur. With the brink of war at hand however, the army is recruiting any boy of age to fight, which Charlie was. Tommo, however, was not. Tommo is sixteen years old at the time, and the military ...more
I seem to have read quite a few novels about the 1914-18 war. It is a subject which interests me - novels which detail the personal experiences of its characters in the war.

This novel is ostensibly written for older children/young adults by the author of the more famous War Horse (which I have also read). It is, however, worth adding this novel to the library of anyone having an interest in the subject.

Even though the novel is aimed at the younger reader, it doesn't shy away from telling a hard
May 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
• Igor Kovalyov
• APA citation: Morpurgo, M. (2003). Private Peaceful. London: Collins.
• Genre: Historical Fiction
• Awards (If applicable): N/A
• Format: Print
• Selection Process: Recommendation
• Review:
Private Peaceful is a wonderful read for any age. Targeted to pre-teens this story takes place during World War I and is told by Thomas. Thomas is the younger brother to Charlie. We are treated to this story through a series of Thomas' memories of growing up with their older brother Big Joe and par
Feb 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thomas (Tommo) Peaceful has always lived within the footsteps of his older brother, Charlie Peaceful. The two brothers do everything together, and whenever something happens to Tommo, Charlie is always right there to protect him. But the one thing Charlie can't protect him from is the guilt he feels for his father's death, which was an accident when a tree fell on him; but he can try to help him through it. On his first day on school, Thomas meets his soon to be, love of his life, Molly. Coincid ...more
Oct 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have been a fan of Michael Murpurgo for some time now and have enjoyed every book of his that I've read so far, but Private Peaceful takes his writing to another level. It's a long time since I've been moved so much by a story, this one left me with the same feeling as the end of 'The Boy In Striped Pyjamas'. I smiled and I cried and I wont forget this for a very long time - if ever.

The story begins with Private Tommo Peaceful reflecting life from the battlefields of the First World War. He th
From BBC Radio 4 Extra:
In WW1 over 300 British soldiers were executed by firing squad, some for desertion and cowardice. Many were traumatised by shell-shock. Some 90 years later they received posthumous pardons from the British Government, after a campaign helped by Michael Morpurgo's novel Private Peaceful .
Aryan Bhargava
Sep 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Awesome read. Definitely recommended. Full review up soon.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Good Night, Mr. Tom
  • Beegu
  • An Inspector Calls
  • Noughts & Crosses (Noughts & Crosses, #1)
  • War Horse
  • Blood Brothers
  • Skellig (Skellig, #1)
  • Stone Cold
  • Letters from the Lighthouse
  • Noughts and Crosses (Stage Version)
  • Gorilla
  • The Pig in the Pond
  • Pig-Heart Boy
  • Not Now, Bernard
  • Wild Wings
  • Candyfloss
  • Hetty Feather (Hetty Feather, #1)
  • Knife Edge (Noughts & Crosses, #2)
See similar books…
Sir Michael Andrew Morpurgo, OBE, FRSL 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 Second World War, then returned to London, moving later to Essex. After a brief and unsuccessful spell in the army, ...more

News & Interviews

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our...
27 likes · 4 comments
“Being his real brother I could feel I live in his shadows, but I never have and I do not now. I live in his glow.” 102 likes
“We're much alike, bee, you and me," I said. "You may carry your pack underneath you and your rifle may stick out of your bottom. But you and me, bee, are much alike.” 32 likes
More quotes…