GLOBAL – The story of a small, but touching, book for young people that became a hit play, and then a movie by Steven Spielberg, is almost worthy of a Hollywood screenplay in itself.
Michael Morpurgo’s epic begins with the story of young Joey, a gangly six month old who is traumatised after being separated at auction from his mother – all seen through the eyes of Joey himself, a horse.
War Horse begins with a description of Joey, a “splendid red bay with a remarkable white cross emblazoned on his nose and with four perfectly matched white socks,” as he is immortalised in a portrait on the wall of the village hall in Devon.
Although the farmer who buys Joey that day from auction is rough and drunk, he soon meets his new owner – the farmer’s son, a young boy called Albert.
Albert and Joey form a unique bond, but history is not on their side: It is 1914 and the outbreak of World War I means that Joey is soon shipped off to fight on the Western Front with Captain James Nicholls.
One million horses, mules and donkeys served with the British Army in World War I – but only 67,000 returned home.
Soon Joey is caught up in the horror of war and the trenches, and he embarks on a remarkable journey that leads him to serve on both sides before ending up in no man’s land. Throughout everything he thinks of his owner, Albert, and longs to go home.
Back in England Albert is also thinking of him, and he embarks on a mission to find Joey and bring him back to Devon.
This is a book of stirring emotions, so be prepared for tears as you discover – will they ever meet again?
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