A Medal For Leroy by Michael Morpurgo

Secret Lives

A Medal For Leroy by Michael Morpurgo is a powerful, historical children’s novel that will educate you as you read. It is grounded in facts and based loosely on the life of Walter Tull. We hear about his actual life in the back of the book. He was a black soldier in World War I who never received the medal he deserved, for countless acts of bravery.

The story is a dual timeline – after World War II and during World War I in the form of a letter. We ‘hear’ about the lives of elderly aunties who were young women during World War I.

We see the racial prejudice that existed in the first part of the twentieth century. Some saw the heart that beats beneath, others could not get past the colour of one’s skin. It is heartbreaking to read.

There was also a stigma attached to unmarried mothers. This is distressing to witness.

Secrets and lies in order to protect the innocent were the order of the day. When the time is right, the truth will come out.

All the characters were well drawn, likable and realistic.

I thoroughly enjoyed A Medal For Leroy. I will leave you with my favourite quote:

“It’s only in forgiving that we find real peace of mind.”


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