The characters in this book are: Albert, Topthorn, Emilie, Grandpapa, Sergeant, Major Martin, Joey, Captain Nicholls, Trooper Warren, Friedrich, Herr Hauptman, Jamie, David, Father, Mother and Maisie Cobbledick. I liked all the characters, especially Albert, Emilie, Grandpapa, Captain Nicholls and Topthorn. I didn’t really like Father at first because he was the one who sold Joey to the army, but then close to the end of the book, he sort of became a nice, kind and caring person. I really liked Albert, Emilie, Captain Nicholls and Trooper Warren as they really cared for Joey and did anything they could to help him in whichever way they could. I also liked Grandpapa because he said he would give all his money if he had to in order to buy Joey at the fair. In addition, I also liked Topthorn because he would ride with Joey and comfort him as much as he could. Most of the characters made me feel brave, and the others made me feel either happy or sad.
The plot: Joey has to keep changing his life because he keeps changing from one owner to the other. He loses his first owner (Albert), then his second, third and fourth, etc. Albert’s dad sells him to the army. Captain Nicholls, his new owner, takes great care of him, feeding him very well and giving healthy food as well as plenty of water. He even makes sketches of him and sends them to Albert to show him that he truly loves him. But then, he is stabbed in a battle, and Joey has to continue his life without him. Luckily, Topthorn his best friend, makes him move on, trying to comfort him as much as possible. His next owners are a little girl called Emilie and her Grandpapa.
They both love Joey and Topthorn a lot but a few weeks later, the horses are needed to pull the ambulance cart from the base to the hospital. He keeps changing owners, but he always thinks of Albert when something is worrying him, and if he will be able to find him or not. After quite a lot of time, Topthorn and Joey are being used to pull the guns, which become heavier every day. Then, one day, Topthorn gets exhausted and falls down to the ground, but doesn’t get up this time. At once, Joey knew he had lost his best friend, and that he was dead. Immediately, Friedrich ran to Topthorn to try make him survive. He fails and dies from sadness next to Topthorn.
Will he ever find Albert, the person who cared for him most of all? Will anything go the right way?
My opinion: I loved the book. It was probably the best book I’ve read so far. This book is also very good because adults, girls and boys can read it, and it is not one bit childish. My favourite part was in the beginning, when Albert was teaching him how to become a farm horse because it was very moving. There were also plenty of sad and frightening bits, but only one happy bit. I learnt that whatever happens, you have to keep going, in whatever position you are.
Do I recommend this book? I definitely recommend this book, even though it is quite sad. I recommend this book because the author, Michael Morpurgo, describes Joey’s adventure very well, and he has used powerful vocabulary. By Iris (age 10)
Till next time…