Half a Man

Written by Michael Morpurgo

Illustrated by Gemma O'Callaghan

Featured Books for 7+ readers Featured Books for 9+ readers General Fiction Recommended Children's eBooks

LoveReading View on Half a Man

Former Children’s Laureate Michael Morpurgo deftly captures the devastating and long lasting impact of war in this stunning and beautifully produced short story. Michael’s grandfather is badly disfigured by his horrific experiences in the war. One of only three to be rescued after his ship is torpedoed, he is patched up in hospital and survives but his face is badly disfigured and his hands have been reduced to stumps. Initially scared of how he looks and how quiet he is, Michael grows closer and closer to him as he gets older and as he begins to understand something of the trauma that has shaped this very special and courageous man. Gemma O’Callaghan’s illustrations capture the mood and intent of the story perfectly. ~ Julia Eccleshare

 

Half a Man Synopsis

Revered storyteller Michael Morpurgo remembers the post-war Britain of his childhood in this unflinching and deeply poignant tale of the physical and mental scars of war.

From a young age, Michael was both fascinated by and afraid of his grandfather. Grandpa's ship was torpedoed during the Second World War, leaving him with terrible burns. Every time he came to stay, Michael was warned by his mother that he must not stare, he must not make too much noise, he must not ask Grandpa any questions about his past. As he grows older, Michael stays with his grandfather during the summer holidays, and as he finally learns the story behind his injuries, he gets to know the real man behind the solemn figure from his childhood. Michael can see beyond the burns, and this gives him the power to begin healing some of the scars that have divided his family for so long.

Half a Man Press Reviews

From the first sentence of a Michael Morpurgo book, you know you are in the hands of a natural storyteller.  The Guardian

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All versions of this book

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Book Information

ISBN: 9781406367133
Publication date: 7th July 2016
Author: Michael Morpurgo
Illustrator: Gemma O'Callaghan
Publisher: Walker Books Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 80 pages
Suitable for: 7+ readers, 9+ readers
Genres: General Fiction
Recommendations: eBooks

About Michael Morpurgo

Winner of J M Barrie Award 2016 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’...

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