global issues

April 14, 2011
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I recently read a very powerful and riveting book that deserves attention. Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo is based on true events in the British military during WW1. Its copyright date is 2003 and its genre is global issues.


I highly recommend this book to all middle school students, as people of all ages. My entire family read it and all were moved by it. It is the type of book that stays with you long after you have finished it, and it is excellent for discussion. Since it is based on actual history, it makes it much more emotional and powerful “In the first world war, between 1914 and 1918, over 290 solders of the British and common wealth armies were executed by a firing squad. Some for desertion and coward ness or for simply sleeping at the post (pg 197).”


The characters bring the story to life, which is why the reader gets so involved. Tommo is the main character, a young boy in England. Early in the story, his father dies leaving Tommo his older brother Charlie, a disabled brother named Big Joe, and the mother. Charlie has always looked out for Tommo and does so through out the book, an example is when Charlie replies to the Sergeant “But the thing is, Sergeant, even if, I wanted to, I cant go with you because I’d have to leave Tommo behind, and I can’t do that (pg 181).” In the beginning they are in school, and meet a girl named Molly. The three become best friends forever. There are a few mean characters, the Colonel that owns the house were the mother works, and Grandma Wolf, who is related to the family. Since the mother is dependent on the Colonel for work plus to stay in the cabin. They all have to put up with him and do as he says. Eventually, he forces Charlie to go off to war “He said you’ve got to go, Charlie, or else he wont let us stay in the cottage (pg 100).” Before he goes he and Molly marry and are expecting a baby. Tommo lies about his age and goes off too. The rest of the story is about how the two survive at training camp and war, and how they are close to the end. The end is extremely sad, especially when you know that it actually happened.


In conclusion, this is one of the best books I have read. It is the kind of book that you want to share with others because it is so interesting. You want to see what happens next. You will read it quickly and it is a hard book to put down.





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