Absolutely Brilliant And Heartbreaking
Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo is a powerful and heartbreaking historical children’s novel. I happened upon it as my ten year old granddaughter was studying it at school. It appealed to both the historian and the fiction-lover in me.
Michael Morpurgo is a masterful story-teller. He writes Private Peaceful in the first person with the result that the story feels very personal to the reader. As we read, we are on a countdown through the night with the memories of seventeen year old Tommo.
We witness the desire to know that heaven exists. “I want to believe there’s a heaven… that death is not a full stop, and that we will all see one another again.” Surrounded by death on the battlefield, this is a hope to hold on to.
The Belgium Front was a wasteland where even God seemed absent. “He [God] has long since abandoned this place and all of us who live in it.” The faith of men was shaken. “I could no longer pretend to myself that I believed in a merciful god… I could believe only in the hell I was living in… it was man-made, not God-made.”
Awaken The Child In You
Kensuke’s Kingdom by Michael Morpurgo is a delightful contemporary children’s adventure for ages eight years and over.
Once more Michael Morpurgo fires up a child’s imagination as we visit a desert island. The landscape is vividly painted through words.
Friend Or Foe by Michael Morpurgo is a powerful children’s historical novel just perfect for ages eight and over.
The novel is set during World War II and follows two evacuees to the West Country. The boys find themselves on a farm. “They were no longer going away, they were arriving.” Life is all about perspective. The boys turned a negative into a positive.
The boys are brave. “He’d promised himself he’d be brave when he said goodbye.” Bravery is ‘doing it afraid.’
Within the novel there is a moral dilemma. The boys have a choice to do the right thing but the right thing is not always easy. It is not always a black and white issue but a murky grey one. They have to be guided by their conscience.
Home Is Best
Toto The Wizard Of Oz as told by the dog by Michael Morpurgo is a delightful children’s tale about the familiar Wizard Of Oz but as seen by Toto. It is refreshingly unique.
I adore the film with Judy Garland and was very keen to read this novel. The book certainly did not disappoint and was totally charming.
We see that kindness and care will transform the world as we help others, and they in turn help us. Words can build up or tear down. We need to speak life over those we meet along life’s journey.
Dorothy finds herself far from home. She learns a valuable lesson that home is best. No matter how kind our friends are, we cannot beat that feeling that home gives.