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Private Peaceful - Michael Morpurgo

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Authors: Michael Morpurgo,Simon Reade / Format: Paperback / Date of publication: 01 September 2012 / Genre: Theatre / Subcategory: Plays, Playscripts / Publisher: Oberon Books Ltd / Title: Private Peaceful / ISBN 13: 9781849435017 / ISBN 10: 1849435017 / Alternative EAN: 9780007150076

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      03.07.2012 17:51

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      Michael Morpurgo's interesting creation sets a new tone for children books, instead of a very traditional happy tale, Morpurgo has thrown out the rule book and created a book with a much more darker tone!I do not like to give away the plot, so I wont but I do recommend reading this book! It does not even have to be children who should read this book, adults will enjoy it as well.

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      19.08.2011 16:25
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      A heart warming book about love, loss and growing up.

      I read this book only last week. I was'nt really expecting to enjoy it as I never really liked war books, but I decided I would give it a go. When I started to read it I was slightly confused, I was'nt entirely sure what the writer was talking about, but I read on as I was sure all would become clear. It started off with a boy called Tommy peacful describing his childhood, I was pleased it was'nt all blood and guts, but a relaxed innocent little boy walking to school with his brother. I quickley got into the book and was enjoying it. I really loved the concept of the book, the way it was written and the characters. I liked the way the writer included characters like big joe, who always sang his special song. It seemed like a very eventfull childhood that was described, I like the way it showed how Tommy expearianced love and loss in the early years of his life, how he always, no matter what, looked up to his big brother charlie and they always stood by eachother.

      The book moved quickly and you could see the tone of the book changing as Tommy grew older, the way he felt about things and people changed. He wanted to impress his true love by signing up to fight in the first world war. The writer went into detail about his thoughts and feelings throughout the war, how he was scared yet he was excited, how he missed everyone at home.new characters were introduced and the plot thickend.But at the end of the book, He did'nt really care about the war or the conditions he was in. The person he cared about the most was his brother charlie and this was showen brilliantly throughout the book, the writer made there bond very close and it was a lovely realationship they had that truley touched your heart.

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        15.02.2011 20:43
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        ok book, have to read it i suppose but it's not amazing

        I've really enjoyed reading war novels in the past so thought i'd give the infamous private peaceful a go. However, I was left bitterly disappointed. It simply didn't live up to the classic - Birdsong. Private Peaceful follows Tommo, starting from his childhood and going into his young adult life as he enters the army with his elder brother, Charlie. Morpugo's writing is brilliant and you get a great insight into the somewhat predictable characters. I just felt that this book was lacking the edge. I suppose that is why it is a children's book. I probably would've enjoyed it a lot more when I was 10 or 12. The book gives a good account of the war but a lot of it is told before Tommo and Charlie go to war. It's mostly about their lives beforehand, and Tommo's love for Molly, who eventually has Charlie's child. It is an OK book, I am surprised all the reviews on here at 5 star. I think you have to read it to find out for yourself, that's what I did. It only took me about a day to read as well, so it's not like you'd massively be wasting your time.

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          18.10.2010 22:11
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          Tommo loves his mother, his brothers and his best friend Molly. But life is about to change ...

          This is an excellent read for children (probably 8/9 years plus) to learn about the people of the First World War, as it focuses so strongly on the personal and the emotional, not just the events.

          Heart rendingly sad from the first page onwards. An amazing narrative of a person's experiences of the Great War. I especially liked the way it started with recounts of his childhood so that we saw him as a person, not just a soldier. Also, that it is filled with personal tragedy, not just that of the War. It has a wonderful narrative tool whereby every chapter begins in the 'present,' reflecting back on events as they lead to the end of the book, gradually building up to show us that he is waiting for Charlie's execution as a slow reveal. I felt for Tommo strongly all the way through and was devastated when Charlie and Molly got together. The relationship between the three children was very sensitively developed from childhood to adulthood.

          I liked that the book ended during the War and that we don't find out if Tommo made it home. I think as a child I would find this massively frustrating, but it brings home the uncertainty of the War and that just because it is fiction it isn't 'safe.' It is a wonderful story of loyalty, family ties and the love of friends and siblings. It is also a good introduction to the historical background of the First World War, particularly the pointlessness, the bullying and the orders-over-sense of the fighting.

          Please read it: it's amazing and will stay with you for a very long time.

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          11.05.2010 20:11

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          everyone needs to read these books

          OMG it is the best book in history the best book in the future it is breath taking.
          I love it every book he does is great i can name them all. Okay here i go there is.....
          Butterfly lion there is Private Peaceful (best book ever!) there is Adolphus tips i mean how did he get these ideas there brilliant then Toro toro good very good and war horse i love the start where the horse discovers a bumble-bee well it's in the play i saw at the brilliant Royal National Theatre and then oh so brilliantly written Born to run like how? It's to good to be true! Kensuke's Kingdom another brilliant book. Then i read Kaspar prince of cats it's fantastic now i am reading alone on a wide wide sea I'm at the part where Allie is on the e-mails brilliant so far then I'm going to read Billy the kid and I sent a letter to michael morpurgo and he said i should read twirst of gold if thats what it says his writing is hard to read and then he said I should read Singing for mrs Pettigrew and Twist of gold hope it's going to be good i think michael morpurgo is the coolest man on earth in the universe he is the smartest and actually he is the coolest man in the universe i wish i knew him personally because he is a legend in every way that i think of him! That is what i think of michael morpurgo and his wonderful books.My name is kitty roisin cusack and i will be an author when i grow up because michael morpurgo inspired me the best way ever! By writing. He is the best author in the universe! Michael morpurgo's the best!

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          10.04.2010 20:35
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          Perfect for anyone may cause a tear to be shed

          Private Peaceful is a book set during the First World War seen through the eyes of Tommo Peaceful looking into the past which slowly unfolds to the present and climax of the book.
          As a reader one feels huge empathy for Tommo as we experience his moments as a child and as an adolescent. You will experience Tommo's sadness love and hatred throughout the book, which creates a truly moving tale. The book portrays the horrors of the trenches and the cruel attitude of the commanding officers which helps to create a deep and harrowing story.
          The book is perfect for all ages I read it when I was young and have read it five times over and every time I still feel the power that the book creates. The book is excellently written by Michael Morpurgo, the way that the story counts down to the present is very clever and I feel that Morpurgo has used all his talent in creating this fantastic story.
          I would recommend this book to anyone. I do not know anyone who has not been moved by this book.

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            04.03.2010 21:10
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            A wonderful book that rocks emotion to the core. You have not lived until you read this book.

            Private Peaceful is set in the eyes of young Tommy, his life growing up and the eventual joining of the war. I will try to retain as much information as possible for reasons I will later disclose.

            The early areas of the book follows Tommy's school-life, his admiration for older brother Charlie and of course the love-interest Molly. After reading other reviews I truly believe people have had a far different and less profound experience than I when reading this book.

            I first read the book at a young age myself, which helped me to relate to the Tommy. The events that unfold throughout the book left me feeling a deep, painful connection as though it had all been too real. Morpurgo's description helps to illustrate the bleak nature of the war and how the war had changed this one boy's life.

            But what I really wish to emphasise is how much the book had moved me, not just as a book but as a life experience. I feel the love, hatred and enjoyment that Tommy had felt as though it was my own and despite trying to sound like I had alienated reality at the time I truly believe that this is what the book was intended for and less as a means of analysing literature.

            Since I read this book 6-8 years ago I still have it resting neatly on my shelf with a few other greats. The book has taught me many invaluable lessons and I cannot help but almost blubber a tear every time I reminisce. Despite this I remain confident in saying from a reviewer's point of view Morpurgo has created an astounding book.

            The storyline constantly adapts and changes, leaving no feeling of a linear, 'getting-to-the-point' aim. The intense detail reveals life from a young boy's eyes and builds upon the adventure, curiosity, betrayal and crescendo event that the whole book leads up to in a very intriguing way.

            If you're looking for a heart-wrenching, life-changing experience then I insist that you try Private Peaceful, a journey that you will never forget and who knows, it may even have as much of an effect on you as it did for me.

            For as little as twenty-five pennies I feel it is an utter disgrace for such a wonderful book. You'll be giving your money and your heart for this book, and neither is in vein.

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              06.01.2010 18:04

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              Very moving

              Private Peaceful, written by Michael Morpurgo, is told through the voice of Tommy Peaceful, a young boy who signs up, under age, to join in the Great War. Morpurgo was born in was born in 1943, so did not serve in the war himself. Despite this, we still learn a lot of accurate information from this book, such as the horrors of war to the propaganda boys were fed to make them wish to join.
              I myself read this as it was on my English Literature reading list, and for a book you have to read, all I can say is wow. The novel is aimed at children aged 10+ (according to my local book shop) however the themes such as futility, cowardice, love and brotherhood are relevant to all ages. The ending, that I shall not spoil, is one that moved me and many of my friends to tears.

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              24.10.2009 12:54
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              An excellent book

              Michael Morpurgo was born in 1943, he attended schools in London, Sussex and Canterbury. He went on to London University to study English and French, he started teaching in a primary school in Kent. It was while he was there that he discovered what he wanted to do. "We had to read the children a story every day and my lot were bored by the book I was reading. I decided I had to do something and told them the kind of story I used to tell my kids - it was like a soap opera, and they focused on it. I could see there was magic in it for them, and realised there was magic in it for me."

              I originally published this review on ciao in 2006 and as I sometimes still think about this book (mainly when I see it on my bookshelf, or when I'm thinking about books set in the war) I thought it was worth sharing with you. I recently cleared out a lot of my books but I won't part this one as I would like to read it again one day.

              Private Peaceful is a novel about World War 1. I am quite interested in WW1 and 2 so when I see a novel set in one of these time periods I often take a closer look...

              Private Thomas ("Tommo") Peaceful is recalling his childhood from those terrible battlefields. He remembers his big brother Charlie taking him to his first day of school, the death of his father when he was just a young child, his mum working hard to keep a roof over their heads and food on their table. He remembers his brother Joe who to Tommo was very special, despite people thinking he was 'simple'. He also recalls the only girl in his life, Molly, and his heartbreak of how she fell in love with Charlie and not him. But as the World turned to War, he had to grow up fast. Together Charlie and Tommo enlist (despite Tommo being underage) and they are sent to France, almost immediately. Charlie and Tommo fight for their lives and to stay together - facing certain death in the face every time they try to advance the British lines.

              A watch, which was given to the private by an injured captain, marks the passing of the minutes and hours through one night. The beginning paragraph of each chapter starts in the present time, it is how he is feeling at that point and the rest of the chapter is memories from his childhood and time spent with his family. The book works it's way through the past until the past meets the present. Each chapter is a time in the night counting towards six the following morning when something tragic will happen. This is revealed in the closing pages and I actually cried when I read it.

              The main character is very strong and the story is told through his voice. I also found myself getting attached to the characters in his life. All of the characters are very believable and they were described beautifully. I enjoy a book a lot more if I feel like I know the characters. They are so well described in this book that I felt like I was sitting in a corner watching watching the events unfold. I found myself thinking about the book and the characters long after I read the final page.

              Time and memory shape this wonderful, emotive novel. It has a simple style and the pace is gentle yet addictive. Once I started this book I found it was extremely difficult to put it down. It is full of warmth and happiness as well as sadness and grief. It is so absorbing and atmospheric that it kept me reading to the very end. After finishing this book I found I had lots to think about and I realised just how precious it is just being alive. I thought I had predicted the ending quite early on in the book, but when I got to the ending I was shocked as there was a twist and the ending was totally unexpected. The ending was very sad but it was also so powerful that it left me feeling like I had lost something I knew so well. I highly recommend this book. It is one of the best books I've read in a long time.

              The book is aimed at 10 years and over but I think that adults and children will enjoy it alike.

              192 pages
              Publisher: Collins
              ISBN: 0007150067
              Available for £3.99 on Amazon (paperback) rrp £5.99

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                03.10.2009 12:24
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                A beautiful heartbreaking story of life and death

                I was never one for reading war stories , but after i was recomended this book i thought i might as well give it a go. It was the first Michel Morphurgo book i ever read and i havent stoped reading his books yet.
                The story of Private Peacful is a emotive tale of a young boy who adores his family more than anything. Tommo Peacful lives in a village cottage with his mother and his two brothers Charlie and Big joe. His Father had died in a wood cutting incedent that he blames himself for. The story tells of how Tommo grows up in adoration of his caring brother Charlie and how he would never do anythting without him. So when Charlie is told he has to go to war Tommo insists he goes too , even though he is too young. The rest of the book tells of what happens to them in the trenches of world war one. This book shows the mistakes made by the governement during the war, illistating the affects of war on so many peoples lives.
                I found this book emotive and heart breaking, its a story i read over and over again, and is so beautifully written. I think that this story is excelent , giving a insight into the lives of everyday soldiers in the trenches and the terrible effects that were brought on by it. This story deals with love, fear, sadness and death in such brilliant ways that it makes you feel like these charactors were really there.
                This story is great for teens and adults alike although i think that it would probably be too much for younger children as it deals with death and war. I completely adored this book and i think may people will for years after this.
                I strongly recomend this book even if you have never read a war story before, because this story is so much more than a tale of war its a story of one boys life through everything that comes and goes.

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                  24.09.2008 16:25
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                  read it!

                  This book is not one I would usually pick up and read. Infact I don't think I would take a second glance at this book and would most likely disregard it as a boring war book. but after recieving it ad a gift and all the uncannily good things my colleges and friends have told me of it, I thought I must give it a read, afterall it couldnt hurt to give it a go?

                  All my preconceptions dissapeared after I began to read the book. The storyline and plot was so structured and the split narrative was so deep and detailed that you really could invision the story and the plot charecters so deeply. Morpegos imagery and subtle writing techniques really make you feel such a great empathy from this book and it not only gives us a great idea of the history of war children but helps us to undestand the great deal of suffering they endured and the flawed leadership system.
                  a great read!

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                  01.09.2008 14:37
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                  A facinating read!

                  I am reviewing Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo. I read this novel in my English class at school and I am going to explain what happens in the novel, who the characters are, what I think are the best and worst bits and why, and what I would do personally to the novel to make it a better book.
                  The main character in this novel by Michael Morpurgo is Thomas Peaceful because the book is written in the first person as if he is telling the novel. You get an in-sight into what he is thinking (sometimes almost like a monologue) and the book follows him around. Everything is seen from his perspective. Another character who is a real centre of attention in this novel is Tommo's brother - Charlie. Despite the fact that the novel is not written from Charlie's point of view, because in the novel Charlie and Tommo are so close, Charlie seems most of the time to be around his younger brother and therefore you hear or (if you visualise it) see what Charlie is doing. Another major character who becomes a lot more minor as the book goes on is Charlie's wife and Tommo's very, very close friend - Molly. When Tommo and Charlie go to war you no longer have the chance to follow Molly because the book follows Tommo, and he and Molly are in two different places. However, before Tommo went to war, he and Molly were extremely close friends. They had met during education after Molly had done Tommo's laces up for him in the school playground. Also, two more pretty big characters are the Mother of Tommo and Charlie and their brother Joe, who has special needs.
                  I am going to describe the personalities of all five of the characters I mentioned in the last paragraph. Firstly, the major character and centre of attention in the book - Thomas Peaceful. In my opinion he is a kind and considerate young boy. Despite the fact that he is brave, courageous and proud; he has a mature, hard-working and occasionally obedient attitude. Sometimes Tommo can be very sanguine and popular, but on the other hand he could be timid and lonely. He has the tendency to be nosey and sometimes mad. If things go against him and for someone else, he will become jealous and grumpy, but on another occasion if he is enjoying himself with a group he will be the centre of attention, enjoying himself and having fun. He might become easily influenced and therefore come across very daring but then by himself he is helpless. On another occasion he does not stand up for himself when alone but in a group he does. But altogether in my opinion this personality is a good one.
                  Secondly, I'm going to describe Charlie Peaceful. As it was clear when I was describing Tommo earlier in the paragraph he has two sides to him (very clearly). Charlie, in my opinion only has one side to him. He is an extremely powerful teenager; he gains the respect of his younger followers very easily. He shows in the very last part of the book that he is a caring and daring youth. I felt he sacrificed his life for all those around him in the trenches. He is very loveable and sweet. Charlie is a proud and courageous lad who shows amazing thoughtfulness when it is hardest to do so.
                  Next Charlie's wife - Molly. She is very laid back in my opinion. She takes everything in her stride. Molly always comes across joyful and easy going. She loses all this when the subject of war comes into the equation. She is horrified, petrified about the prospect of Tommo and Charlie going to war. Molly was brought up in a very strict environment. Despite the fact that Molly is not over serious I feel she abides by rules most of the time. She again is a caring woman who seems to put other people before herself. Now to Big Joe. In my opinion he is the hardest character to describe. He is a very immature and strange person. Despite the fact he has disabilities he should still go to some kind of school. He relies completely on other people around him rather than doing the occasional thing for himself. He also shows he has no ability to sense what the situation might be like when he randomly starts singing Oranges and Lemons the whole time. He acts like a two year old. His parents should have sorted something out sooner.
                  Finally the boys' mother. She is a weird parent. She has faith in her two younger sons (Charlie and Tommo) abilities, but maybe she should think more about their best needs. Like most, she is a caring and loyal mother, she is truthful and loveable. In my opinion I think she should have done something about Big Joe's illness earlier.
                  I am now going to review the action in the book and give a brief description in my words of what I think happened. The action happens in the countries on England and France. It really starts when the family are living a peaceful life with Molly in Essex until one day the Colonel turns up on their doorstep ordering that they leave the cottage 'now'. If not, Mother would have to get a job at the Big House. Naturally the family decide that the latter is more appropriate and therefore Grandma Wolf comes to look after the children. Things from that point go from bad to worse. Grandma Wolf is incredibly strict and because the boys are not used to it, they just can not cope. Molly can stand up to Grandma Wolf a lot better than the boys. However, in that time while living with Grandma Wolf, Charlie, Tommo and Molly can not stand her, so they spent lots of time out of the house, building an amazing relationship. (Skipping a couple of chapters). Later Mother returns and Charlie and Molly's relationship has grown very large. They decided to marry and have a baby.
                  After many months Tommo is doing his normal daily job - helping Charlie out (around his routine) - when he spots a large group of soldiers marching the street. Tommo later realises that this particular group of soldiers are searching the streets for young members of the public to join the force. This is the force which is going to fight in the war that the Colonel mentioned about six months ago. Everyone Tommo's age group and above has gone to join proudly, with their chests puffed out. Tommo is pressured to go and join. He decides not to, and fleas. As he runs towards where he should be working with Charlie all day, hundreds, maybe even thousands jeer after him - 'chicken'.
                  Unfortunately, for the Peaceful family and Molly, Charlie and Tommo are called up to the Etaples training ground where they are to prepare for war. When they are at Etaples, Tommo and Charlie always stay very close together. Tommo's worst punishment at the training ground is doubling five times round the parade ground with his riffle above his head for having a dirty gun. When they leave Etaples, they head for the real trauma of proper war in the trenches where they have to go through the hell of having rats, knats and lice all around them. They have to deal with flooding water, terrible smells, rotting bodies and limbs. They may easily get trench foot and terrible diseases. The hell holes which are the trenches would be filled with blood and mud. Soldiers at Charlie and Tommo's level would have no sanitary facilities. But, despite all this hell that went on in the trenches, there is still one more, even more traumatic thing. That is: the constant fear that you might die. Tommo and Charlie also experience the terrible occurrence of losing a loved one. When Little Les dies Tommo are Charlie were apart. Charlie is back in England for a while after he has been given the opportunity to go home. Tommo is desensitised when his best friend dies and therefore didn't feel the full extent of the terrible tragedy. When Charlie does return to France it is his and Tommo's turn to go into the gun shot fire and face war. Tommo and Charlie complete that challenge and proceeded back to the trenches. Some time later however Tommo commits a crime, and as the captains were punishing him, Charlie comes in and protests his brother's innocence. The captains have had enough. They tie Charlie to a tree, circle around him, take aim with their guns, and fire. He of course, is dead. I believe that when Tommo returns to his mother, he is a real man. He, the Peaceful family and Molly bury Charlie next to Bertha, the dog and Big Joe's old mouse, right underneath the cherry tree.
                  The best chapter in this novel by Michael Morpurgo in my opinion is 'twenty eight minutes past one'; because I believe apart from being the central chapter in the novel it gives you an opportunity to learn things about the war. I believe that this chapter is very realistic. Also, the last fifty pages (or so) are very powerful. However, there's always a poorer part to a book and on this occasion in my opinion I believe that the start was quite weak and slow until it reached the chapter: 'twenty eight minutes past one'. A way I think Michael Morpurgo could have changed this is to put a major event (like losing Big Joe) in the first couple of chapters. I do think the author has tried to replicate an event like this by killing the boys' father. We never got to know him; it came first thing, so therefore I didn't feel a very strong emotion. For me, that didn't work.
                  I'm now going to describe who the best character is. For me Charlie came across so powerfully to possibly consider anyone else. He was a caring and daring young man who had the potential to become a great role-model like leader. He would, could and should easily get the respect of his fellow peers. Before he died Charlie Peaceful was a strong, proud, confident and very courageous young man. He would fight for his friends. He'd never fear death. A fantastic character!
                  If I had the chance to talk to the author of Private Peaceful - Michael Morpurgo, I would ask him why he felt the need to end the book the way he did. I would also ask him, why didn't you start the book, the way you ended it? A few people would give up because they thought it was boring, and stop reading.
                  I would ask: Why did you decide to write a book about this particular topic? Do you enjoy learning about the war? I would, also ask Michael Morpurgo about how he found out about all the important and interesting facts to do with World War I. For example: What did you look up to find such thorough facts out? Who inspired you to writing the book, the way you ended up writing it? Why did you want to write a novel about World War I? When did you first have the idea? Where were you? How long in total did it take for you to write the novel? I would like to and hopefully be able to ask a lot more questions if I had the chance to talk to him.
                  That was my book review of Private Peaceful, by Michael Morpurgo, which I rate as a high quality book.

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                  06.05.2008 19:13
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                  Innocence and Love, courage and cowardice

                  Private Peaceful is without a doubt the best book I have ever read. It is a book that will make you laugh and cry but is certainly not a book you will forget in a hurry.

                  It begins with eighteen-year-old Private Thomas Peaceful on the battlefields of the First World War looking back over his countryside childhood. These memories are fond ones of his life back at home with his mother, father, brothers 'Big Joe' and Charlie and best friend Molly. As you read through these memories you will become lost in the innocence of youth and the happiness of friendship.

                  The story however isn't quite what it seems, as the First World War breaks out Thomas and Charlie join up and fight side by side in the trenches. It is here that you realise that as the clock ticks by and Thomas remembers how things used to be another moment is passing as structurally each chapter of the book brings Thomas and the reader closer to the present. A present where something will change his life forever and make him realise the uncertainty of his own future.

                  I won't tell you what the ending is; all I'll say is that a box of tissues might come in handy. When I first read this book I was about 14 years old and remember being engrossed completely in the story from beginning to end and then crying my heart out once I'd finished. I re-read the book a couple of weeks ago, I'm now 18, and it had exactly the same effect. Maybe I'm soft or maybe the fact that the book is written with such tenderness and love and highlights the epitome of life, the power of friendship, will simply melt the heart of anyone that reads it.

                  The novel is written for children but should be read by everyone. Michael Morpurgo's style suits the story being told perfectly and allows the story of Private Peaceful to infiltrate your very soul.

                  "Tonight, more than any other night of my life, I want to feel alive"

                  In short the book is one you'll never want to put down. The tale, one you'll never want to let go.

                  BINDING - PAPERBACK
                  PAGES - 185
                  PRICE - £5.99

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                • Product Details

                  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.