World War I. You've heard about in school. You've read about it in books. You've even seen the movies. It was big and brutal enough to be called the Great War, at least until World War II came along. Although World War I may not be as prevalent in pop culture as World War II (we blame Steven Spielberg, but more on him later), it has still gotten plenty of press.
Human press, that is. And we're not complaining. We are human, after all. But we're not the only creatures on this planet, you know? So how did the war affect other species? Well, Michael Morpurgo's War Horse shows us this global struggle through a brand new perspective—as told by a horse unwittingly drafted into battle.
Yep, this book is narrated by a horse.
War Horse is the story of Joey, a young horse separated from the boy he loves and drafted into World War I. It's a familiar story given a new twist. Here's the formula: All Quiet on the Western Front + My Little Pony = War Horse. Sign us up.
Published in 1982, the novel was adapted into a critically-acclaimed play in 2009, which made its way to Broadway and beyond. And after all this success, Steven Spielberg, who never met a war story he didn't like, adapted War Horse to the silver screen in 2011 and it was a hit and a half with audiences and the Academy. Not too shabby.
Joey's horseshoes may trod well-worn territory, but the novel has a fresh perspective and an important message. War Horse urges readers to remember everyone affected by war—the soldiers both living and dead, the civilians, and yes, even the horses.
Why Should I Care?
As we've learned from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, everyone loves horses. Everyone. From your little sister to your mom to the amazing bronies in the military, we all know that horses are where it's at.
So even if you're sick of war stories, seeing things through a horse's eyes will give you a brand new perspective on the war—and on the world.
Speaking of eyes, have you ever looked into the big, bright eyes of a horse and wondered just what the heck he's thinking? Morpurgo dives into the psyche of a horse with Joey's first-person narrative, and after reading War Horse, you'll never look at a horse the same way again.