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A Medal for Leroy

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  812 ratings  ·  127 reviews
Inspired by the true story of Walter Tull, the first black officer in the British army, this is a stunning new novel of identity and loss by Michael Morpurgo, biggest UK children's author and the bestselling, award-winning writer of War Horse, now a smash West End and Broadway hit as well as an Oscar-nominated movie.

Michael doesn't remember his father, an RAF pilot lost i
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published September 27th 2012 by Harper Collins Children's Books (first published January 1st 2012)
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4.05  · 
Rating details
 ·  812 ratings  ·  127 reviews

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Aug 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
" And I think it's true that many of us certainly me, are fascinated to discover more about the lives of our parents and grandparents and even out great-grandparents, because like it or not, they make us who we are"

Michael Morpurgo award winning British children's writer and author of War Horse War Horse (War Horse, #1) by Michael Morpurgo and. Private Peaceful Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo
tells a fitionized story inspired by the true stroy of Walter Tull, the first black officer in the British Army.

I read this book for pure nostalgia as this was one of my son's
Pauline Evans
Jan 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A great children's book that tackles tricky themes in a careful way. It was inspired by the true story of Walter Tull (who I know a lot about), a black soldier in WWI who although was very brave was not awarded a medal for his outstanding courage due to the colour of his skin. I admire the way Michael Morpurgo tackles important issues and doesn't sugarcoat his books. My son bought me this book for Christmas as he knows I love this author. A great choice!
Camille White
May 13, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: junior
Yes, I cried.
Alex (not a dude) Baugh
Nov 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: world-war-2
It is a few years after the war has ended and young Michael (not the author) is growing up in London, living with his French mother Christine. All he knows about his father is that his name was Roy, he was in the RAF during the war, flying a Spitfire and he had been shot down over the English Channel.

His mother had one of his medals and let Michael keep it in his room. She told him that his Auntie Snowdrop (really Martha) had the other medals and would be happy to show them to him when they vis
Apr 14, 2014 rated it liked it
Those readers expecting an animal story involving the courage and faithfulness of an animal in a war setting will be disappointed, as Jasper, the black and white terrier depicted on the book jacket, is peripheral to Morpurgo's latest tale. Instead, the novel focuses on
the story of a black officer serving the British forces during World War I, a rarity in that era, so those stories went largely untold. It is also a story of stigmatism resulting from racism and illegitimacy. Illegitimate offsprin
Aug 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a darling little book from Micheal Morpurgo. I'd be lying if I said it didnt bring a lump into my throat and tears to spring to my eyes reading the last few pages of the story and the afterword.

Secrets in families are often but they're so much better to hear face to face. Auntie Pish and Auntie Snowdrop really were hard as nails and so it seems was Maman, I loved that Leroy made Martha so happy and that in such a grey world they managed to find a little bit of happiness that went on for Mar
Jenny Mitcham
Apr 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My daughter wanted me to read this one because we had come across something about Walter Tull, a man who had bravely fought in the first world war but hadn't received a medal because of the colour of his skin. This book is inspired by this story. It was very engaging and beautifully illustrated. I think it is fabulous that stories like this one are made understandable and accessible to primary school children.
Jun 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
A medal for Leroy

This book tells the story of a young boy ‘Michael’ growing up in the 1940’s. Michael lives in London with his French mother. His father was killed in action during World War 2, just 6 months into his marriage to Michael’s mother. Michael’s father grew up with his two aunties, auntie Snowdrop (Martha) and auntie Pish (Mary). Once his father was killed his mother made an arrangement to bring Michael to visit his aunts. Although, Michael and his mother was not entirely trilled with
Mar 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: juvenile-fiction
A grey cover with black soldier and a small black boy holding a dog did not interest me. The novel A Medal for Leroy begins in Belgium in March 2012. I was introduced, sort of, to Christine, Maman, pa, Auntie Snowdrop, Auntie Pish, and Grandfather Leroy and a dog named Jasper. I am not sure who the first-person narrator is. After reading this, I wondered, "What is happening here?"
Next, the story flashes back to London in the 1940's where the narrator, Poodle (AKA Michael, a young French/Englis
Natalie Ahern
Mar 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is the second of Morpurgo's books I have read (The other being War Horse) and I am already seeing a re-occurring theme, that is how ordinary people have to suffer the harsh realities of War most prominently the loss of loved ones. It is also a book about heroic soldiers and how prejudice both in government institutions and society prevented them from being recognised as so.
The story revolves around a young boy Michael and his family which is made up of his mother and two aunts. Through the
Naeemah Reese
"A Medal for Leroy" was a great story. The chronology of the events of the story grabs the reader’s attention not only to make them think about what is happening in the story but also to help the reader feel just as confused as the main character Michael feels. Michael knows that his father died during World War II, but he is blind to more important facts about his family’s history. Over the years Michael’s maman (mom) and his auntie Pish and auntie Snowdrop tell him numerous things about how su ...more
Jayne Bauling
Sep 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Proof that less is more. Short, straightforward and succinctly told.

Morpurgo writes about war as it affects good, ordinary people, in this case both the First and Second World Wars; war as the cruel thief, robbing said people - of so much, and most especially of each other.

This children's novel is also about prejudice, racial and social. We're taken back to a time (is it truly over in the western context?) when black heroism in war went largely unacknowledged, and when for so many classes and cu
I have yet to figure out why, with some books, I read them in fits and starts, but with other books, I just sit down and scarcely look up before I am done. This was a "read straight through" book. It isn't a page-turner, which might be a good reason for reading straight through. And, though there is a mild mystery to it, that wouldn't be compelling enough by itself to explain it. I suppose, with me, it has to do with whether I find the characters and their situation interesting. I figured out th ...more
Leroy Popoola.
Aug 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I like this book because Leroy is my name
Edward Sullivan
Another great historical novel from Michael Morpurgo, this one inspired by the life of Walter Tull the first black officer to serve in the British Army in the First World War.
The Dusty Jacket
Dec 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Michael has no father, brothers, or sisters. Just his mother, Maman, and two aunts: Auntie Pish and Auntie Snowdrop. It is 1940s London and right after the war. Michael’s friends call him “Poodle” because of his frizzy hair and French ancestry. But Michael doesn’t mind much. In fact, he likes being different, being special. Regarding his father, Michael knows only what his mother has told him: his father’s name was Roy, he was a Spitfire pilot, and he was killed in the war. But when Michael’s au ...more
Mar 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Michael, the main character doesn't like visiting his Aunts Pish and Snowdrop. Auntie Pish is a bit too severe and Auntie Snowdrop follows Pish in every way. After Aunt Snowdrop dies, Michael gets a parcel which reveals a story. It turned out that his family wasn't how it seemed (I don't want to give away too much). This new knowledge changes Michael's life forever. The best part is that this is based on a true story about a WW1 soldier, Walter Tull. The idea that a soldier would not be awarded ...more
Helen O'Toole
Sep 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Oh how I love Michael Morpurgo's books! This beautifully honest book is inspired by the real life story of British World War One black officer, Walter Tull.
He was commissioned as an officer, the only black one, and he died a hero's death, charging ahead of his men with great bravery. His fellow officers & men wanted to have his heroism honored by a posthumous medal but the cold hearted and racist officials would not award the medal. Similar injustices were meted out to Australian indigenous
Lisa C
Aug 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s
This one made me cry. It’s based on a true story, so I read it as a memoir, but even if I hadn’t, I still would have cried. Nicely written. I love how the themes of war, death, racism, biracial families and illegitimacy are handled. The hardest part to read was the unforgiving minister father. “Auntie Snowdrop” definitely went through a lot of rough stuff, but was sweet and loving. I would have liked to know her.
Aug 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: diverse-books
I wanted to live this story that eventually tells the story of a black soldier in world war I and the young nurse who fall in love.
Unfortunately, as others have said, it moves slowly because it's been narrated in a letter.
I wish the author could try again on this one.
I'm not sure what age guideline I'd give it.
Jan 21, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I love how Morpurgo draws on real life examples.

In particular, he uses the fictional story of a little boy Michael to draw on the brutal reality of black soldiers either being refused acceptance into or refused recognition for the war efforts.

This book would be ideal for year 5 and 6 to explore less known but important topics of World War I.
Graham Heslop
Jun 02, 2017 rated it liked it
History reimagined to show us the tragedy of war and the injustice of racism. Morpurgo evokes with a simple story all sorts of emotions, questions about loving lies, and the restorative power of truth
Dec 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I guess I should've seen it coming that twist, and I suppose I suspected but reading it and confirming it made it all the more special. As a black person it's nice to have an author who touches up on all these subjects that modern day people tend to just overlook and pass as the past.
Emma Adams
Dec 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fiction,Richard a boy is central character ,his father died in WW1 .It faces some issues such as death in war,colour prejudice,bravery with lots of twists and turns along the way .Lots of suspense that makes for a good read that's not too long .
Jan 07, 2018 rated it liked it
i read this book a couple of years ago. i wanted to read it again because i wanted something easy to read and i wondered why i loved it so much. its was a great book for a girl my age when i was 10 or so but it doesnt do anything for me now.
Aruna Kumar Gadepalli
Every story is written with so much care that makes the reader hook to the book. Story inspired by true events. Master storyteller with another story that made me enjoy thoroughly.
Danielle Gates
Aug 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
What a touching and wonderful story. It is true that we don’t show an interest in our families and therefore our own history. Especially as a child. Love for Micheal Morpurgo.
Natasha Ellis
Sep 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read it to help with my daughters new Secondary school project. Really interesting book for older children.
Emily Randall
Sep 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Another emotional read from Morpurgo, I found it quite insightful.
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Michael Morpurgo ...: A Medal For Leroy 1 2 Feb 01, 2013 11:08AM  
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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
“She loved singing—and soccer,” 0 likes
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