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Farm Boy

by Michael Morpurgo
115 pages, Historical Fiction
Reviewed by Elanorelle

Quaint story about the relationship between a grandson and his grandfather with little content.

Plot

It's been years since Albert and his beloved Joey returned from war in 1918 and his son, the narrator's grandfather, shares memories of the past as the two, grandfather and grandson, grow in their relationship in this short but sweet novel for young readers.

Morality

Except for the placing of bets, the morality is straightforward: traits like honesty, integrity, kindness, and perseverance are celebrated.

Spiritual Content

A boy prays. Someone mentions the "Christmas 2000 years ago".

Violence

Vague descriptions of war violence, nothing is spelled out graphically: shelling, injuries, and men and horses dying. A man is found dead by one of the characters.

Drug and Alcohol Content

Characters imbibe beer and cider. Some are said to be drunk. A key influence in an unreasonable bet is credited to too many drinks.

Sexual Content

A kiss on the cheek and a reference to "petticoats and bloomers".

Crude or Profane Language or Content

"Beggar" is used as an affectionate term. Horses are called "bags of bones".

Conclusion

Written for a younger audience than War Horse, this children's story - complete with illustrations on almost every page - could be a good introduction to the Great War and the ways of farming life and how they have changed. Readers who enjoyed its predecessor may find some parts of the narrative repetitive and lacking, but could appreciate the new perspective on the characters they know.

Fun Score: 4.5
Values Score: 4.5
Written for Age: 8-10

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