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Loyal Creatures

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  280 ratings  ·  64 reviews
Like many of his mates from the bush, Frank Ballantyne is keen to join the grand adventure and do his bit. Specially as a chest full of medals might impress the currently unimpressed parents of his childhood sweetheart. So Frank ups his age and volunteers with his horse Daisy ... and his dad.

In the deserts of Egypt and Palestine he experiences all the adventure he ever wa
Paperback, 160 pages
Published May 28th 2014 by Puffin (first published April 1st 2014)
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3.99  · 
Rating details
 ·  280 ratings  ·  64 reviews

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Actual Rating: 3.5

I liked this one, but didn't necessarily love it. It was like an Australian War Horse in a way. It's a lovely yet devastating little story about the friendship between man and horse in war.

This was my first read for my historical readathon, where I'm reading only historical fiction from my TBR for the next few weeks!
Mar 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
The story of the Australian Light Horse Brigade in the first world war. Or rather the story of a boy - and he really is a boy at the beginning of the book - and his horse. There are lots of great things about this book. The relationship between the boy and his dad. The war fever that gripped small towns at the beginning of the war, the white feathers delivered to those who didn't go off immediately. This is a great book to sit alongside David Hill's Two Brothers novel. Offering multiple perspect ...more
Jan 26, 2015 rated it liked it
It makes you think how lucky you are to live in the place and this time. The ending is horrible because it's sad. :(
Anna Davidson
A heart-wrenching story about the bond between a boy and his horse. This story gives a fascinating account of life on the ground for the men and their horses during World War 1. Be prepared to cry. :(
May 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
During WWI nearly 150,000 horses were transported from Australia and conscripted to the army – majority of their owners joined the Lighthorsemen, and were sent to the Middle Eastern theatre.

When the war ended in 1918 some of the 150,000 horses had survived.
But only one would be sent home.

‘Loyal Creatures’ is the new novel from children’s author Morris Gleitzman.

I am a huge fan of the famous Australian author, but even this book surpassed my expectations and is most certainly a favourite of 2014.
Helen Stower
Loyal Creatures is set in World War One and although it is about a real war and inspired by real events, author Morris Gleitzman tells us that “it isn’t a history book”. Rather it is a book written to inspire our imaginations about what it may have been like to volunteer in the war as so many Australian men and women did.

Throughout the pages of this story, we follow 16-year-old, Frank Ballantyne and his horse Daisy. As the war erupts in Europe and many Australians join up, Frank is keen to enlis
Jun 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
A sensitive and devastating tale of mateship and loyalty in World War One. I loved the strong narratorial voice, deftly blending humour and a restrained sense of emotional vulnerability in the classic Aussie male way.
The companionship between the young protagonist, Frank, and his loyal horse, Daisy, was tenderly rendered.
The ending was truly upsetting and highlighted the horrors that occurred even after the war ended.
The book made me appreciate anew the reasons for the men enlisting in the wa
Saturday's Child
Sep 05, 2016 rated it liked it
This novel is based on the brave men and their horses in the Middle East during World War I. It needs to be told and shared so that they are not forgotten.
Z.R. Southcombe
Apr 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Written from the perspective of a teen boy, this story has a strong voice, and a relateable protagonist. Highly recommended for teens, horse-lovers, and people who want more of a glimpse into what it means to be a soldier in someone else's war.
Sep 09, 2014 rated it liked it
A really sweet little read
Oct 06, 2018 marked it as to-read
There is an interesting background to this book. If you think this sounds familiar and suspect it of being a ripoff of Michael Morpurgo’s War Horse, fear not! In fact, when the West End production based on War Horse transferred to Australia, Michael Morpurgo himself asked Australian children’s author Morris Gleitzmann !add link! to write an extra section telling the story of a young man from there who had gone to war with his horse. Rather improbably, vast numbers of Australian horses were shipp ...more
May 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
A powerful story about World War 1 and the Australian Lighthorse Brigade. As with all Moris Gleitzman there are laughs amid the lessons. Tears were shed.

Four stars ****

My Goodreads star ratings from 23/9/17
* waste of time
**filled in time
*****absolutely amazing
Sep 08, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: childrens
I'm not sure this book is suitable for children as young as 10 years old. My son had to read it for school and he didn't enjoy it. This is the second book of Mr Gleitzman's I have read because my son's class was studying it. I think he is taking very adult topics and trying to make them for children. Children should be children and not forced to confront these topics at such young ages.
Jun 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
i love morris gleitzmans work and even though they are middle grade books, i always end up sobbing. it's rare when reading that I'll actually full on cry -mostly it's just eye watering- but his books make me sob so hard i just sit there looking at the book and how much it wrecked me. i would re-read this 72928 times. i believe i just got out of my reading slump.
Aug 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Morris Gleitzman at his usual (excellent) level.
Down to earth, very touching story based on facts from Australian participation in I WW.
In my opinion too cruel and depressing for young readers for whom most of M.G. books is written
Feb 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: war
Mar 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: horses
I bought this with the intention of giving it to my niece for her birthday but after reading it last night and being completely devastated by it, I certainly will not be giving it to her. My goodness, what a tragic story. It is one of the saddest books that I have ever read and I was in tears for ages. It's beautifully written but it isn't clear to me that a kid should read this.
Katy Noyes
Oct 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I finished this, looked up and promptly burst into tears, which I couldn't quell for the next twenty minutes. I don't remember having quite such a reaction to a book in a good while.

That may not sound like such of a recommendation! But it's high praise that a book can have such an uncontrollable emotional response in a reader. Morpurgo often has a similar effect, and this story is similar in a few ways.

Both authors use real (often tragic) real events and stories to educate young readers about th
May 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Morris does this just so very, very well. Historical fiction seems to have become his forte. This work follows the classy, timeless appeal of The Once Quartet by exploring the particular slice of history that is World War I and infusing it with love, pathos and humour while including authentic language and historical signposts that are instantly recognisable.
A prime example of the excellence of the writing is the way that Morris invokes the 'ocker' language of the time - without writing 'strewth
Aug 12, 2016 rated it liked it
Loyal Creatures Reviews!!
When I first saw the book I thought it is about horses that is loyalty to their owners. But when I start reading the book it turned out that it is about wars and Australian light horse who is loyalty to their owner. When I start the book I really loved it but at the end it really turned out really sad and I think same of the things in the book is not true. But I believe some of it is true but some are not true. And the relationship between Frank and Daisy and even the re
Aug 17, 2016 rated it liked it
Loyal Creatures is a nice, well written story, by Morris Gleitzman, about a 15-year-old boy with his horse, Daisy, and their struggle through war. This story of friendship, hardship and loyalty is an easy read and is quite a short story but is filled with thrill. But the story line being about war would be recommended for teenagers.
This story is quiet an easy read but there is other book on the same topic of this that is a more enjoyable read. This story feels to me a bit rushed and has no compl
Randy Daugherty
May 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
" They Suffered wounds, thirst, hunger and weariness almost beyond endurance but never failed.
They did not come home." Inscription on a memorial in Sydney's Royal Gardens to the Australian horses in World War One.
The history is real, the story though fictional is one that could and probably did take place. This is the story of a boy Frank Ballantyne, who enters into manhood in north Africa during World War One. He was part of the Aussie light horse brigade, made up of volunteers and their horses
Karen ⊰✿
This is my fourth Morris Gleitzman book, and I really appreciate how he can bring war stories to children in a respectful, interesting, and non-graphic way. This story is about a 16 year old boy and his father signing up for the Light Horse Brigade in WWI and taking their beloved horses with them. This is a story about war... so there is death and sadness, but also hope and bravery. Although the cover says this is suitable for children over 10, I'm not sure my 10 year old nephew would cope well ...more
Jessica Hansen
Nov 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
It is very rare that I can find a book that makes me cry but this one definitely succeeded. This is a bit like a 'war horse' for older readers but without the happy ending which I found very unbelievable ( sorry Michael Morpurgo, but it's true). I think part of the reason it affected me so much us because it's such a shock. Any book about war isn't going to be hilariously funny but it wasn't too sad until that ending which I will admit, although I was in tears reading it, did wrap the story up w ...more
Jun 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
They say you can't judge a book by it's cover, but I certainly CHOSE this book based on it's cover. A review of this a few weeks ago just grabbed my attention with this cover, so I was joyfully excited to see it on the library shelf waiting for me to read it.

I've read a lot of YA fiction this year, and I have (mostly) really enjoyed them. I like the succinct phrases that still manage to capture the soul of the characters and story. This story was told simply and plainly, yet still managed to mov
Nov 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites, 5-stars

I loved this book a lot. It was funny and emotional throughout, and remained true to the battles of WW2.
Now, I got this book after meeting Morris and hearing him talk about the book. Having read Once, Then amd Now, I was intruiged by his new book.
This book is really well written. Having also read Michael Morpurgo's war horse, I think the two books go really well together.
The plotline is good; its engaing and evokes many emotions, We also see the characters develop throughout the sto
Sam Schroder
Aug 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
In honour of Gleitzman’s appointment as the Children’s Laureate, I checked my bookshelves for any books of his still waiting for my attention. I think I have actually read this book before, as I had marked it as read back in 2015, but there was no point in the story where I felt like I had read it before. Maybe that means I’m losing my mind, but I think it’s more likely to mean that Gleitzman is such a talented writer that his work is engaging, even if it’s a second or third read. This beautiful ...more
Dimity Powell
Jun 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids-lit
If you have never read anything by Morris Gleitzman, read this. You won't be disappointed. If you have read everything by Morris Gleitzman, read this. You won't be disappointed. I've encountered a number of interpretations and tales based on the Light Horse campaigns in the Middle East during WWI now. This one, aimed at upper primary and secondary aged students sits comfortably among many other outstanding accounts and is just as memorable and heartfelt. Morris has an uncanny ability of writing ...more
Aug 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Well, this was utterly devastating. Not a book is recommend to many younger readers, Loyal Creatures brilliantly depicts the relationship between man and horse during the course of war, and how each comes to rely so completely on the other. As those who know their history would know, things didn't end well for many members of the Australian Light Horse , both men and animal, who volunteered to fight in World War I. This book reflects that very accurately and as a result does not make for happy o ...more
Dec 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Following the popularity of War Horse there have been a number of other First World War animal stories, but none as powerful as this. Underage Frank, his Dad and their two horses join the Australian Light Horse in 1914 and set out on the grim ocean voyage to Egypt. Although published as a children's book, it might be too much for some sensitive young souls who are just looking for a fluffy animal story. Older children and adults may need to keep some hankies close by. As Frank says "We were just ...more
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Morris began his writing career as a screenwriter, and wrote his first children's novel in 1985. His brilliantly comic style has endeared him to children and adults alike, and he is now one of Australia's most successful authors, both internationally and at home. He was born in England in 1953 and emigrated to Australia in 1969 so he could escape from school and become a Very Famous Writer.