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It is the onset of the First World War, and the British army is buying horses for the front; Albert's father takes Joey to market and sells him to an honorable soldier called Captain Nicholls. Too late, Albert rushes to market and is unable to reverse the sale. He tries to join the army with Joey but is too young, so he promises Joey that, as soon as he is of age to enlist, he will go and find the beloved animal. Captain Nicholls promises to take great care of Joey and also to keep in touch with Albert. But the following spring, Topthorn dies of heart failure while pulling the gun. Seconds later, a battle breaks out between German and English troops. Friedrich is shot and killed instantly, and in his confusion and grief, Joey becomes separated from the rest of the unit. When approaching tanks finally drive him to bolt in terror, Joey becomes lost and eventually wanders into a strip of no-man’s-land. A British Soldier rescues him, and he finds himself being taken to a British animal hospital, far from the front lines. I bought this book for my ten year old and as the film War Horse is now showing in the cinema I wanted to read the book before seeing the movie and I really enjoyed this book.
One of the kids who came to the farm from Birmingham, a boy called Billy, the teachers warned me that he had a stammer and told me not to ask him direct questions because it would terrify him if he had to be made to speak because he doesn’t speak...I came in the last evening into the yard behind this big Victorian house where they all live, and there he was, Billy, standing in his slippers by the stable door and the lantern above his head, talking. Talking, talking, talking, to the horse. And the horse, Hebe, had her head just over the top of the stable, and she was listening; that’s what I noticed, that the ears were going, and I knew she knew that she had to stay there whilst this went on, because this kid wanted to talk, and the horse wanted to listen—this was a two way thing...I went and got the teachers, and brought them up through the vegetable garden, and we stood there in the shadows, and we listened to Billy talking, and they were completely amazed how this child who couldn’t get a word out—the words were simply flowing. All the fear had gone, and there was something about the intimacy of this relationship, the trust building up between boy and horse, that I found enormously moving, and I thought: Well yes, you could write a story about the First World War through the eyes of a horse, and yes, the horse didn't understand every word, but she knew it was important for her to stand there and be there for this child."  Taylor, Jerome (19 June 2010). "Europe's finest join up for 'War Horse' ". The Independent. London . Retrieved 27 February 2011. I loved the way Joey the horse seemed to give hope to the men on the battlefield and while war was all around them the horses gave the soldiers a sense of calm and hope. Then, there was the very gentle and wise Captain Nicholls who reminded me on an older version of Albert and Major Stewart with his horse Topthorn who soon became Joey's best friend during the war.A man named Ted Narracott buys a colt for 30 guineas when he was supposed to buy a horse for plough at an auction. Ted's son, Albert, names the horse Joey and grows to love him, protecting him when Ted is drunk. While with the Narracotts, Joey also meets Zoey, a horse who was a source of comfort to him, and whose name partially inspired his. As World War II approached, many of the WW1 war horses bred in England that had been sold as surplus in Europe and Egypt were in a very poor state. They had been so overworked and abused they were practically skeletons. Illustrated throughout by Tom Clohosy Cole, this enables this popular and important story to be enjoyed by a younger readers. The full colour pictures are glossy, clean-lined and vivid – almost in the style of graphic novel artwork, except that they are glorious full colour spreads, as you would expect in a picture book for younger children. Violence: Seeing how this book is about WWI, the evidence of violence is there. However, the author does a wonderful job in its portrayal and steers clear of gore, unnecessarily graphic scenes, and the like. Supporters still play a crucial role in Brooke's work - our success stories show the incredible changes that each and every supporter has enabled. If you'd like to get involved in this support, take a look at our fundraising ideas or make a donation today.
Albert taught Joey things that saved his life more than just once. Besides, Albert promised to find him, he was his first and most important friend. A Welsh version of the novel, adapted by Casia Wiliam and titled Ceffyl Rhyfel, was published by Gwasg Carreg Gwalch in 2010.  Further information [ edit ]War Horse was adapted by Steven Spielberg as a major motion picture with Jeremy Irvine, Emily Watson, and Benedict Cumberbatch. The National Theatre production opened in 2007 and has enjoyed successful runs in the West End and on Broadway.
Butcher, Emily (31 October 2011). "Morpurgo's myth revealed". National Army Museum . Retrieved 8 November 2011. Before the Steven Spielberg film, before the National Theatre production, there was the classic children’s novel… With his wife, Morpurgo had founded Farms for City Children, a charity where inner city children live and work on rural farms for a week.  Interviewed by Fi Glover on Saturday Live on BBC Radio 4 in December 2010, Morpurgo recounted the event that convinced him he could write the book: Exclusive: War Horse Cast Announced". Empire. 17 June 2010 . Retrieved 17 June 2010. taking the lead (or the reins) is young actor Jeremy Irvine, who has earned his stripes with both the National Youth Theatre and the RSC. Every character who was mentioned in the book was in its own way important and showed a particular view on life and the war. Every single character actually loved and appreciated the horses, everyone cared!The painting mentioned in the preface of the book, a portrait of Joey painted by Captain Nicholls and now hanging in the Village Hall (of an unnamed village), was a fiction of Morpurgo's. However, particularly since the success of the stage version of the book, so many tourists have come to the village of Iddesleigh, where Morpurgo lives, and asked to see the painting in the village hall, that in 2011 Morpurgo commissioned an artist to paint just such an oil painting to hang there. He used equine artist Ali Bannister, who acted as the chief "equine hair and make-up" artist on the Steven Spielberg film of the book and who also drew the sketches of Joey seen in the film.  Another inspiration for the book, after meeting the veterans and seeing Billy with Hebe the horse, was an old oil painting that Morpurgo's wife Clare had been left: "It was a very frightening and alarming painting, not the sort you'd want to hang on a wall. It showed horses during the First World War charging into barbed wire fences. It haunted me."   The painting was by F. W. Reed and was dated 1917, and showed a British cavalry charge on German lines, with horses entangled in barbed wire.  Morpurgo wrote a fictionalised version of this painting in his "Author's Note" at the start of the book. In his version, the painting shows a red bay with a white cross on his forehead, and the painting bears the legend: "Joey. Painted by Captain James Nicholls, autumn 1914." ) This element of humanity is undeniably prevalent in a pure form to show how humans can only take so much. For a majority of this war, the people didn’t even know what they were fighting for. They didn’t hate each other--they knew they were all equals, and they respected each other in that.