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Farm Boy

Review

Farm Boy

The story of Albert and his horse, Joey, captured the imaginations of readers worldwide before it became a Tony-winning play and an Oscar-nominated film (as well as receiving its own very funny parody on “Saturday Night Live”). A young boy and his deep connection to a horse who actually served in World War I and survived to return to him carried messages of hope and love that touched millions of readers and viewers. Now we can get more detailed information about Joey in FARM BOY, Michael Morpurgo’s follow-up to WAR HORSE.

"FARM BOY is a great book, perfect for a young adventurous reader who loves history, animals and family stories all put together. The prose may be easy to read, but the emotion is dug in as deeply as the burrows on Grandpa’s farm."

Many decades after the horrors of that war have subsided, Albert’s son tells his own grandson more about the brave and honorable Joey and the daring risk that his family took allowing Joey to run a race that could have killed him. However, there is still one story that Albert’s son can barely remember --- an important one that can only be revealed in pain and shame. Will Albert’s family ever learn the sad secrets that his father was hiding so long ago? And will clearing the air help the family move into a new generation of hope and dedication to each other and to the world their ancestors fought so hard to protect?

First, the book begins on the grandson’s take, where he tells us about Grandpa’s stories, all illustrated with beautiful black-and-white drawings befitting a historical story such as this one. Then he moves into the grandfather’s own story, set in a separate type and introduced as a sheaf of papers found by the grandson who shares them with the reading audience. This is a lovely story about doing the best with what you have been given, about harder times that cement a family’s resolve for generations to come. As the grandson moves to Australia, studies engineering and then returns to his grandfather’s side to help work the family farm, the book becomes a story about family and a remarkable horse. But most importantly, it's about the people who rallied around the wonder of that animal and used that powerful emotional connection to him to engage and move forward their family.

FARM BOY is a great book, perfect for a young adventurous reader who loves history, animals and family stories all put together. The prose may be easy to read, but the emotion is dug in as deeply as the burrows on Grandpa’s farm.

Reviewed by Jana Siciliano on July 27, 2012

Farm Boy
by Michael Morpurgo

  • Publication Date: April 1, 2012
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press
  • ISBN-10: 0545460069
  • ISBN-13: 9780545460064