About this deal
Morpurgo, Michael (1 January 2014). "First world war centenary is a year to honour the dead but not to glorify". The Guardian.
Read and act out Chapter 4, where Joey is sold to the army. Which emotions are felt by each character at that point in the story? Read the descriptions of the farm and other settings in the story. Could you draw / paint a picture of some of these places?Cast Revealed For Spielberg's War Horse, Lead Role Goes Elsewhere". The Film Stage. 17 June 2010 . Retrieved 17 June 2010. At the start of Chapter 6, the soldiers are feeling ‘buoyant with optimism’. What does this mean? Can you think of any other words / phrases to describe this feeling?
Families can talk about what it means to write a wartime book from the perspective of a horse. What does Joey tell us about war? Does Joey understand why he is taught to perform the tasks he does? Does anyone in the war? After meeting a World War I veteran, Wilfred Ellis, who drank in his local pub at Iddesleigh and who had been in the Devon Yeomanry working with horses, Morpurgo began to think of telling the story of the universal suffering of the Great War through a horse's viewpoint, but was unsure that he could do it.  He also met another villager, Captain Budgett, who had been in the cavalry in the Great War, and a third villager, Albert Weeks, who remembered the Army coming to the village to buy horses. Morpurgo thanks these three men in the dedication of the book.   At the veterinary hospital, Joey happens to be cared for by Albert, who works there and has a friend named David. Albert realizes that Joey is his old horse only after cleaning all the mud off him, and seeing how he responds to his whistle. Albert starts caring for Joey again like he used to. Later, David and two horses from the hospital are killed by a stray shell, putting Albert in a state of depression, as David had cared for him like a brother. At the end of the war, Major Martin announces that they will auction off all the horses, despite the protests of Sergeant Thunder and the rest of the soldiers. During the auction, Sergeant Thunder loses to an old man for Joey. The man is Emilie's grandfather and was looking for Joey. Emilie's grandfather tells Albert about how Joey and Topthorn came to their farm, and that Emilie had lost the will to live after they were taken from her, with Emilie fading away and dying at just 15 years old. Emilie's grandfather sells Joey to Albert for a cheap price, in return for telling people about Emilie, and keeping her memory alive. Albert and Joey return to England, where they live in peace and Joey meets Albert's girlfriend, Maisie, with whom he does not get along very well.At the end of Chapter 1, Joey says that there is an ‘instinctive and immediate bond of trust and affection’ between him and Albert. What does this mean? How do we show people that we trust them? Taylor, Jerome (19 June 2010). "Europe's finest join up for 'War Horse' ". The Independent. London . Retrieved 27 February 2011.
War Horse is simply anti-war and pro-horse. Events are told by a sensitive animal, albeit one with limited understanding of human machinations; this seems to highlight the senselessness of the destruction. Joey the horse doesn't understand why men are killing each other, and neither does the reader. The bond between horse and master is sweet and profound, and a love of animals shows the commonality between people on both sides of the conflict. Morpurgo recalled in another article: "As I listened to this boy telling the horse everything he'd done on the farm that day, I suddenly had the idea that of course the horse didn't understand every word, but that she knew it was important for her to stand there and be there for this child." Once upon a life: Michael Morpurgo". The Observer. London. 11 July 2010 . Retrieved 4 February 2011.Morpurgo met a World War I veteran in his local pub at Iddesleigh and learned that he had been in the Devon Yeomanry working with horses during the war. Morpurgo began thinking of how he could tell the story of the universal suffering of the Great War through the alternate perspective of a cavalry horse, but was unsure that he could do it. He also came across another villager, Captain Budgett, who had also been involved with the cavalry in WWI, and yet another who remembered the army coming to the village to buy horses. Morpurgo recognises the three men in the dedication section of the book, naming them as Albert Weeks, Wilfred Ellis and Captain Budgett.