Friday 17 August 2012

Book Review - Farm Boy

Title: Farm Boy
Author: Michael Morpurgo
Series: War Horse (book 2)
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books
Release Date: 29 Sep 2011
ISBN-13: 978-0007450657

Joey was the last working horse on the farm, and the apple of Grandpa’s eye. In War Horse, Joey was sent away from the farm to be a warhorse in WWI. Grandpa had joined the cavalry in order to find, and fight, with Joey. Farm Boy brings us forward fifty years with Grandpa not only telling his grandson, Joey’s story but also a ‘shameful secret’ which he has held for years…
The story is set in Iddesleigh in Devon and lovingly evokes the bonds between farm and farmer; grandson and grandfather.

My Review
I finished War Horse earlier in the week and although I wouldn't say it was fantastic I did enjoy it and so when I saw there was a sequel I decided I should read that too. So I requested this from the library and it came in pretty quickly, when I got it I was surprised by how small it was, just 110 pages and half of those were covered in illustrations. Not much of a story then!
This literally took me 20 minutes to read it was so quick and I have to say I was very disappointed. This isn't really a sequel at all, it doesn't really follow on from the first book at all, but starts with Albert's (Joeys first young owner) great great grandson going to visit his grandfather. Whilst there his grandfather recounts tales of his father (Albert) and his Grandad and of course Joey (the War Horse)
It's a rather pointless read to be honest. The grandfather talks about life as a Farmer and how much he loves it, then recounts a story of when Joey and Zoey (the two horses) were used in a ploughing challenge against a neighbor who had one of the first tractors.  Whilst it was a sweet little story and clearly had it's morals, there wasn't any real point to it. Considering how much we read about Joey learning to plough in book 1 and returning to be a Farm Horse at the end of the book I could have imagined that myself.
I was sorely let down by this book. It could easily be put in the back of War Horse as a 'Bonus Short Story'. I certainly wouldn't pay full book price just to get this. If you loved the world of War Horse so much then this is a little added extra, and could be worth 20 minutes of your time, but borrow it from the library!
I'm sorry Morpurgo, but this really let the story down!

My Rating

I just realised none of my 'Ratings' work for this, I didn't struggle to finish it - it was too short for that, but it's not what I would call \Average' either on my scale, so for this time only I am inventing a new rating. (Actually I might think about adding it in permanently) Anyway, here is my rating:


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