Reader Reviewed Farm Boy by Michael Morpurgo

Farm Boy

Written by Michael Morpurgo

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Michael Morpurgo followed up his best-selling War Horse with this sequel which brilliantly describes life in the Devon countryside at the time of World War 1. Visiting his grandpa on the farm, a young boy loves to listen to the stories he tells. These include how, as a boy, his heart was broken when his beloved horse Joey was sent away to fight. Determined that they would stay together, even though he was too young to do so at the time, Grandpa signed up so that he could find his horse. Grandpa’s stories take the reader back to World War 1 and the time soon after – including the excitement of a ploughing match - but Grandpa also has a secret to share and he needs his grandson’s help to put it right!


reader reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for Farm Boy Lion a small number of children were lucky enough to be invited to review this title. Here's a taster....'I really like this book, not only because of the beautiful drawings and the historical tractor, but mostly because of how simple it is. With two characters, and one scene, it really shows what a success a book can be even if it is short and simple, and also gives the word that writing is always about the quality, not the quantity'

Scroll down to read more reviews...


Farm Boy by Michael Morpurgo

The magical sequel to 'War Horse', soon to be a major motion picture. 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. The spirit of rural life is superbly captured in both Michael Morpurgo's writing and Michael Foreman's illustrations. An irresistible title from acclaimed author-illustrator partnership.


We have asked a select number of children to review Farm Boy. You can read their reviews below.

Aimee Sweet, age 13 - 'I really like this book, not only because of the beautiful drawings and the historical tractor, but mostly because of how simple it is. With two characters, and one scene, it really shows what a success a book can be even if it is short and simple, and also gives the word that writing is always about the quality, not the quantity.' Click Here to read the full review.


Further praise for Farm Boy.

'Here is a very important book, combining the very best of storytelling and illustration.'

'If there are such things as contemporary classics, then this, surely is one of them.' Daily Mail

Praise for SHADOW:

As ever, Morpurgo's warmth and humanity suffuse a story of courage, love and hope. - Amanda Craig, The Times

passionate and touching - Julia Eccleshare, Lovereading


This is a handsome, very pickupable book. Brightly and informatively jacketed, its text punctuated by lovely, fluid ink and wash illustrations by Michael Foreman, it deserves a prominent place on school library bookshelves and, if there is any justice in the world, in bookshops. Guardian

A thrilling and moving new novel about an extraordinary animal caught up in a very human war, for anyone who loved The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips or The Butterfly Lion! Waterstones

For readers aged eight and over, this captivating novel offers an insight into how Hitler came to power, refracted through the gaze of the young narrator. Telegraph

Following the stage success of War Horse, Michael Morpurgo returns with another gem in his animals in war series, An Elephant in the Garden. Telegraph

About the Author

Michael Morpurgo

March 16 was Michael Morpurgo month on Lovereading4kids - click here to view the favourites we selected on themes of Legends, Animals, War and Journeys.

Michael Morpurgo, OBE, MBE, is one of the UK’s best-loved authors and storytellers. He was appointed Children’s Laureate in May 2003, a post he helped to set up with his friend Ted Hughes in 1999. He was awarded an OBE for services to Literature in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2007. He has written over 120 books, including Kensuke’s Kingdom which won the Children’s Book Award 2000 and was shortlisted for the Whitbread Children’s Book Award and the Carnegie Medal in 2000. His novel, Private Peaceful, a harrowing story about the First World War was published in Autumn 2003. It won the 2004 Red House Children’s Book Award and the Blue Peter Book Award in 2005. His novel Shadow about a boy from Afghanistan and the dog he befriends won the Red House Children’s Book Award, voted for by children.

Many of Michael’s books have been adapted for the stage. These include Private Peaceful, Kensuke’s Kingdom, Why the Whales Came and The Mozart Question, and most notably, the National Theatre’s production of War Horse which then moved to a theatre in central London. This production of Michael’s moving and powerful story of survival on the Western Front, which reached number one in the Observer’s top ten theatre performances and was also awarded the best design prize in the Evening Standard Theatre Awards. This production also played in New York where it was awarded five Tony Awards. In 2012 the film adaptation of War Horse, directed by Steven Spielberg, was a box office success.
Michael travels all over the UK and abroad talking to children and telling his stories and encouraging them to tell theirs.

In 1976, Michael and his wife, Clare, started the charity Farms for City Children. They help to run three farms around the country, in Gloucestershire, Pembrokeshire and North Devon. Each farm offers children and teachers from urban primary schools the chance to live and work in the countryside for a week, and gain hands-on experience. For more information about the work of Farms for City Children, please visit

Michael Morpurgo lives in Devon with his wife Clare. He has three children and seven grandchildren.

Michael Morpurgo was our Guest Editor in June 2010. Click here to see the books that inspired his writing, or scroll down to see books written by Michael.

Anthony Horowitz on Michael Morpurgo:

'Michael Morpurgo is the most solid, classical of children's authors. He sits outside the series-driven blockbusters so beloved of publishers nowadays: he hasn't created a Harry Potter or an Alex Rider – and I admire him for resisting that. We are opposite sides of the same coin and, although his work has never influenced mine, I admire the eloquent, considered voice of his best books. He has an unerring moral compass – his schoolteacher past has never quite left him – and books such as War Horse and The Butterfly Lion have a strong social concience and an honesty that makes them universal.' (The Guardian)

Why not CLICK HERE to take a peek at Michael’s 10 Rules for Writing.

or Click here to read a Q&A with the author.

You can also read about his life in a new biography, War Child to War Horse, to which he has contributed seven stories - click here to find out more.

Michael is the inaugural President of the Historical Writers Association starting from Autumn 2011, ( It was founded to bring social and professional support to writers of historical fiction and non-fiction, publishers, agents and booksellers, all bound both by their common interest in historical books and by the sense of community that comes from a shared obsession.

Since its creation, the Historical Writers' Association has launched a Festival of Historical Writing in association with English Heritage as part of their Festival of History at Kelmarsh in Northamptonshire.


March 2016 was Michael Morpurgo Month - a special month-long celebration of the varied and wonderful works of Michael Morpurgo as he celebrates his 70th year and also to mark the 40th anniversary of his and his wife’s Farms for City Children charity. Each week we featured a different selection of books under the themes of Journeys, War, Legends and Animals. We invited our readers to review many of the books that featured during Michael Morpurgo month - and you can download all their reviews here.

If you like Michael Morpurgo you might also like to read books by Robert Westall, Anne Fine, Sarah Lean and Celia Rees.

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Book Info


112 pages
Interest Age: From 9


Michael Morpurgo
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HarperCollins Children's Books an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

Publication date

29th September 2011




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