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War Horse Novel Review

First published in 1982, War Horse is told in the first- person narrative from the point of view of a horse named Joey.

Joey is admired by a young boy named Albert Narracott who lives in Devon, England. As time goes on, young Albert watches Joey grow from a young colt into a strong horse and the horse is finally bought by Albert’s father Ted.

After Albert has spent time with Joey, he brings up the horse as if he was a parent playing with his own child.

But Albert eventually trains Joey for the plough, which Joey does exceptionally well. When news arises about the abrupt arrival of World War I, Albert’s father Ted sells Joey to Captain Nicholls.

Albert tries to enlist in the British army but, since he is too young, he is denied admission into the army.

Captain Nicholls then promises Albert that he will take care of the horse and will return it to him at the end of the war. During the war, Joey is trained for combat, meets another horse named Topthorn, and endures perilous adventures in the British and German army.

War Horse is a tale of courage, determination, and triumph from the point of view of a horse as he is away from his beloved young owner and friend, Albert.


War Horse, penned as a children’s novel in the 1980s, is a very compelling story. It has a wide range of appeal that has even garnered the attention of teenagers, which is why it is a great read for young people.

As a matter of fact, it has gained such a wide following as a popular work of literature that it has been developed into an Oscar nominated film adaptation. Though it is a great story about endurance and the power of staying true to your goals, “War Horse” does have some questionable content that could have been left out for a children’s novel.

For instance, Albert’s father Ted is depicted as drinking alcohol from a flask. But despite this, there are some scenes that are very delightful.

An example of this would be where Albert commands Joey to come to him by imitating the sound of an owl. By the end of the novel, the reader will appreciate having read this story.

The tale of Joey and Albert's separation from one another and their final reconciliation is one that is sure to place this book as an instant classic.

Disclaimer: I purchased my copy of War Horse with my own funds.

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