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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Seen the movie? Now read the book! War Horse by Michael Morpurgo

I am again guilty of not wanting to read a book until after watching the movie.  This time the movie was War Horse.  I knew the movie was based on a children's book (someone had requested we purchase it before the movie was released) but the book didn't interest me.  I didn't see the movie until it was released on DVD but I did enjoy it.  There was one scene after Joey (the horse) is scared by the tank and runs into no man's land that I found extremely graphic and had to turn off for a few minutes before concluding the movie.  After watching the movie, I was curious: how did the two compare? I had to read the book to know.

The book is told from the point of view of Joey and you're first introduced to him after he is purchased by Albert's father. The book chronicles Joey's life on the farm and into the Great War.  He has a close bond with Albert and when Albert's father sells him to the army, Albert vows that he will one day find Joey.  For the most part the movie stays true to the book, but there are a few major differences between the two.  I don't want to give anything away so I won't go into these differences. 

The book War Horse is definitely a children's book, but the movie is not for children.  The movie is rated PG-13 and for good reason. The violent scene in the movie that caused me to pause the movie wasn't nearly as graphic in the book.  I would recommend this book to young readers (2nd-5th grade) who enjoy reading historical fiction and anyone who likes horse books.  I enjoyed War Horse so much that I checked out the sequel Farm Boy and I can't wait to read it.  

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