A stunning edition of this modern classic of World War One, featuring an introduction by the author and insightful testimonies from soldiers.
Told in the voice of Private Tommo Peaceful, the story follows twenty-four hours at the front, and captures his memories of his family and his village life – by no means as tranquil as it appeared.
Full of vivid detail and engrossing atmosphere, leading to a dramatic and moving conclusion, Private Peaceful is both a compelling love story and a deeply moving account of the First World War.
- Introduction by Michael Morpurgo
- Inspiration letter by Michael Morpurgo
- Background on the execution of British soldiers in WW1 for cowardice, including personal testimony from soldiers
His [Tommo’s] journey from agricultural labourer to cannon fodder is movingly told…Michael Morpurgo is expert at getting through to his readers. He writes here about events that should never be forgotten nor forgiven, and does so most effectively.
…full of warmth as well as grief, conveying vividly how precious it is to be alive…
The best novel he’s written since The Butterfly Lion.
Deserved to last as an insight into the First World War in the same way as, say, The Silver Sword or Goodnight Mr Tom.
A poignant, elegiac novel.
About the author
Michael Morpurgo OBE is one of Britain's best-loved writers for children, and has sold more than 35 million books around the world. He has written more than 150 novels and won many prizes, including the Smarties Prize, the Whitbread Award and the Blue Peter Book Award, while several of his books have been adapted for stage and screen, including the global theatrical phenomenon War Horse. Michael was Children’s Laureate from 2003 to 2005, and founded the charity Farms for City Children with his wife, Clare. He was knighted in 2018 for services to literature and charity.
Morpurgo's (Kensuke's Kingdom) suspenseful, ultimately tragic novel opens as 18-year-old Tommo Peaceful stays up all night "to try to remember everything." The author plants clues as to the narrator's sense of urgency with a framing structure: each chapter begins with Tommo's thoughts in the present, then flashes back to a memory. The novel divides into two parts: Tommo and his brother Charlie's lives before they enlist in WWI and during it. Before the war, their lives in rural England seem almost idyllic except for Tommo's "terrible secret" (their forester father is killed by a falling tree when he pushes Tommo from its path). Their loving, closeknit family includes a retarded older brother and sweet Molly, a schoolmate whom Tommo and Charlie both love (and who winds up married to Charlie). Tommo recalls how his brother constantly looked after him, and readers observe Charlie's stalwart sense of loyalty and his refusal to bend to authority. How these qualities in Charlie manifest themselves, both before and during the war, play out dramatically yet realistically in both brothers' lives. On the frontlines in France, Tommo recounts the horrors of war: hellish conditions, friends killed and a cruel sergeant who hates Charlie. Readers will come away with a clear picture of a very different era. This is a moving depiction of a loving relationship between two brothers, their lives so linked that readers may wonder until the end whose fate lies in the balance. All in all, a powerful story about war's costs, and who pays the price. Ages 12-up.
Customer ReviewsSee All
I am only 12 and I read this book in school as a class it is really great. I don't like reading and this book has inspired me to write stories. There were some spelling errors though but an amazing and great story. I definitely recommend this story.
Absolutely amazing book so far, but not good to have typing errors! There have been a few mistakes, and I am only up to the second chapter. There has been 'giri' in place of girls, 'drinking' in place of thinking and even the word corning (Don't believe that to be a word)
But the story is superb, wish the errors could be corrected, though.