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jesi

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About me: +++ Where does the time go? . . . We have generated over 3200kwh electricity with our solar panels since October 2012 . . . £610+ FIT . . +++ I'm dyslexic, dyspraxic (but erudite and eclectic) and physically challenged.~ ♥ ~ Jes ~ ♥

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Private Peaceful ~ How WW1 Affected the Lives of Ordinary People

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31.12.2011 (01.02.2012)

Advantages:
Helps you understand how dreadful it was for the Ordinary Private Soldiers in the Trenches .

Disadvantages:
The Narrator is telling his story in Flashbacks during an all Night Vigil

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101 Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful See ratings
exceptional by (2%):
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Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo MBE is the story of how an ordinary teenager, Tommo Peaceful, and his older brother Charlie Peaceful went to France to fight in WW1.

Their lives have not been easy, as their forester father died when a tree fell the wrong direction, and their mother was forced to accept work at the 'Big House' looking after the Colonel's invalid wife, or lose their home, as it was tied to their father's job on the estate.


When WW1 broke out, the older Brother is forced to enlist as a private, and Tommo pretends to be his Twin brother (he was not quite 16) in order to join up with him.

Something has gone terribly wrong, and this story is narrated by Private Tommo Peaceful as he spends a dreadful night's vigil.

The chapters have titles of the time of night as the long night passes. Tommo gives a little summary of where he is during the night, then proceeds to tell you another flashback to his life both before and during the war, explaining what events led up to this dreadful night.

I found this method of telling the story both compelling and distracting.


On the one hand, you feel his dread and it keeps you on the edge of your seat, wanting to know more. As it is from his own standpoint rather than his older brother's, you feel his uncertainty more, as he always was less confident and felt his brother overshadowed him all along, yet they loved each other and looked after each other's interests.

The device of the VIGIL, however, didn't completely 'do it' for me. I felt I knew too much without knowing enough to understand why things were happening, and I felt isolated from the events and characterisation. Just when I was catching up in my mind, there was the interruption of the new chapter.

It DID help me to understand more the mental state of many of those in the trenches in the war.

The book I read was part of my grandson's collection of books by Michael Morpurgo, but is available in various editions on Amazon and other booksellers. It is not comfortable reading, although the language is designed to be accessible to young adults from 9 to 16 I would say. My 12 year old grandson has read it about five times, and read it partly to me before finishing it again before I read it.

I don't expect I will read it again, and it did not make me cry, although it has others.

RECOMMENDED with Reservations . . . It is not a book for everyone.


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December 2011 . . . ♥ ~ Jesi ~ ♥
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A Radio Dramatisation of the book will be on BBC Radio 4 at 2:30pm on Saturday, 4th February 2012

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Comments about this review »

kattwig 17.09.2013 11:23

sounds interesting

ilusvm 29.08.2012 16:39

My little brother likes Michael Morpurgo books, will have to find out if he has read this one!

StazKilly 25.06.2012 12:15

great review as usual xx

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Manufacturer's product description

Told from the viewpoint of Tommy Peaceful, this cleverly written story takes a poignant look at the First World War...

Product details

Publisher Collins Educational
Author Michael, M.B.E Morpurgo
Genre English

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This review of Collins Readers - Private Peaceful - Michael, M.B.E Morpurgo has been rated:

"exceptional" by (2%):

  1. Rosebudwithredroses
  2. mrufo

"very helpful" by (94%):

  1. IzzyS
  2. MrGump
  3. dragonhelmuk

and 96 other members

"helpful" by (4%):

  1. jo-1976
  2. rolletrog
  3. lillamarta

and a further member

The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.



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