Private Peaceful

Private Peaceful

Book rating: 05 Paperback HarperCollins Children's Books

By (author) Michael Morpurgo

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  • Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
  • Format: Paperback | 192 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 194mm x 16mm | 181g
  • Publication date: 1 August 2004
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0007150075
  • ISBN 13: 9780007150076
  • Sales rank: 5,345

Product description

Heroism or cowardice? A stunning story of the First World War from a master storyteller. Told in the voice of a young soldier, the story follows 24 hours in his life at the front during WW1, and captures his memories as he looks back over his life. Full of stunningly researched detail and engrossing atmosphere, the book leads to a dramatic and moving conclusion. Both a love story and a deeply moving account of the horrors of the First World War, this book will reach everyone from 9 to 90.

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Author information

Michael Morpurgo OBE is one of Britain's best-loved writers for children. He has written over 100 books and won many prizes, including the Smarties Prize, the Blue Peter Book Award and the Whitbread Award. His recent bestselling novels include 'Shadow', 'A Medal for Leroy' and 'Little Manfred'. His novel 'War Horse' has been successfully adapted as a West End and Broadway theatre play and a major film by Steven Spielberg. A former Children's Laureate, Michael is also the co-founder, with his wife Clare, of the charity Farms for City Children.

Customer reviews

By noel mcardle 21 Feb 2010 5

I thought that this book was brilliant, and in some parts, very unhappy. It is about two doleful characters, who go to war. They are brothers; Charlie and Tom. When the story starts, Tom is just starting school, as the story develops, Tom turns sixteen, and he and his brother Charlie go to war, against the Germans. This is a delightful and heart-warming story, that is definately worth a read!

Review quote

His [Tommo's] journey from agricultural labourer to cannon fodder is movingly told...Michael Morpurgo is expert at getting through to his readers. He writes here about events that should never be forgotten nor forgiven, and does so most effectively. Independent ...full of warmth as well as grief, conveying vividly how precious it is to be alive... Sunday Times The best novel he's written since The Butterfly Lion. Times Deserved to last as an insight into the First World War in the same way as, say, The Silver Sword or Goodnight Mr Tom. Telegraph A poignant, elegiac novel. Daily Mail

Editorial reviews

From England's Children's Laureate, a searing WWI-era tale of a close extended family repeatedly struck by adversity and injustice. On vigil in the trenches, 17-year-old Thomas Peaceful looks back at a childhood marked by guilt over his father's death, anger at the shabby treatment his strong-minded mother receives from the local squire and others-and deep devotion to her, to his brain-damaged brother Big Joe, and especially to his other older brother Charlie, whom he has followed into the army by lying about his age. Weaving telling incidents together, Morpurgo surrounds the Peacefuls with mean-spirited people at home, and devastating wartime experiences on the front, ultimately setting readers up for a final travesty following Charlie's refusal of an order to abandon his badly wounded brother. Themes and small-town class issues here may find some resonance on this side of the pond, but the particular cultural and historical context will distance the story from American readers-particularly as the pace is deliberate, and the author's hints about where it's all heading are too rare and subtle to create much suspense. (Fiction. 11-13, adult) (Kirkus Reviews)