Private Peaceful

( 25 )

Overview

They've gone now, and I'm alone at last. I have the whole night ahead of me, and I won't waste a single moment of it . . . I want tonight to be long, as long as my life . . ." For young Private Peaceful, looking back over his childhood while he is on night watch in the battlefields of the First World War, his memories are full of family life deep in the countryside: his mother, Charlie, Big Joe, and Molly -- the love of his life. Too young to be enlisted, Thomas has followed his brother to war and now, every ...
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Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. 100% Money Back Guarantee. Shipped to over one million happy customers. Your purchase ... benefits world literacy! Read more Show Less

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Private Peaceful

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Overview

They've gone now, and I'm alone at last. I have the whole night ahead of me, and I won't waste a single moment of it . . . I want tonight to be long, as long as my life . . ." For young Private Peaceful, looking back over his childhood while he is on night watch in the battlefields of the First World War, his memories are full of family life deep in the countryside: his mother, Charlie, Big Joe, and Molly -- the love of his life. Too young to be enlisted, Thomas has followed his brother to war and now, every moment he spends thinking about his life, means another moment closer to danger.
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Through all the joys and traumas of their childhood in the English countryside, Charlie was there to take care of his little brother, Tommo. When Charlie joins the army to fight in World War I, an underage Tommo signs up too. Through the horrors of war, the bigotry of social classes, and the bullying by an officer, Charlie never wavers in his protection of his brother or fellow troops. It is precisely this that gets Charlie into trouble. Written from Tommo's perspective during the night before an awful, fateful day, Tommo recounts his childhood and his relationship with his brother. Morpurgo has created a haunting story in graceful prose. His rich language brings the characters vividly to life. The shattering of innocence that occurred in the "war to end all wars" is powerfully portrayed throughout the story and in its stunning ending. This will have a strong impact on young adult readers. 2004, Scholastic, Ages 14 up.
—Sharon Salluzzo
KLIATT
It's the longest night of young Thomas's life, as he stands watch over the battlefields of France in WW I, and he spends it thinking back on his life and trying not to think about the terrible event scheduled to take place at dawn. Thomas is only 17; he lied about his age in order to follow his beloved older brother Charlie to war. He reminisces about their childhood, the death of their father, the despotic colonel who controls their family's fate, and his first love, Molly. He also relates the misery of training to be a soldier, and the horror of shelling, gas attacks, life in the trenches, and seeing friends killed. The worst is yet to come, however, for a cruel sergeant has brought Charlie up for a court martial for refusing to leave his brother behind when Thomas is injured—and at dawn, brave, merry Charlie, Thomas's guardian and best friend, is to be shot for cowardice. This simply told, skillfully written tale has a tremendous emotional impact. A postscript and author's note at the end tells about the injustice done to men like Charlie, and gives some background on the war. Morpurgo, the author of Kensuke's Kingdom and other books for young readers as well as for adults, was recently named the Children's Laureate of England. This fine historical novel, based on Murpurgo's interviews with veterans and research trips to the battlefields, should help to build his reputation on this side of the Atlantic. KLIATT Codes: JS*—Exceptional book, recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2003, Scholastic, 208p., Ages 12 to 18.
—Paula Rohrlick
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-At 15, Thomas Peaceful, like many other English soldiers in World War I, is too young to fight, but he lies about his age. Now at the front in France with his older brother Charlie he stands a lonely nighttime vigil for reasons that are not explained until the book's end, watching the minutes tick by and reflecting on his past. Using first-person narration, Morpurgo draws readers into this young man's life, relating memories that are idyllic, sobering, and poignant. Tommo thinks upon the role he played in his father's accidental death, the adventures that he shared with Charlie, his relationship with his childhood friend Molly, and the experiences that he has had since entering the war. Finally, he describes how Charlie disobeyed a direct order to stay with him after he was wounded in action, fully aware of this decision's dire consequences. While this story is not based on any one individual, Morpurgo has personalized the British tactic of executing their own soldiers "for cowardice or desertion," memorializing these men without passing judgment. While readers see the events through Tommo's eyes, the author does not lose sight of the war's effects on the teen's friends and family. Reminders come in the form of letters from home, relationships with other soldiers, and observations of battles. This thoughtful novel touches on themes of humanity and duty, and features brilliant characters whose personal decisions have earned them their very own badges of honor.-Delia Fritz, Mercersburg Academy, PA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
From England's Children's Laureate, a searing WWI-era tale of a close extended family repeatedly struck by adversity and injustice. On vigil in the trenches, 17-year-old Thomas Peaceful looks back at a childhood marked by guilt over his father's death, anger at the shabby treatment his strong-minded mother receives from the local squire and others-and deep devotion to her, to his brain-damaged brother Big Joe, and especially to his other older brother Charlie, whom he has followed into the army by lying about his age. Weaving telling incidents together, Morpurgo surrounds the Peacefuls with mean-spirited people at home, and devastating wartime experiences on the front, ultimately setting readers up for a final travesty following Charlie's refusal of an order to abandon his badly wounded brother. Themes and small-town class issues here may find some resonance on this side of the pond, but the particular cultural and historical context will distance the story from American readers-particularly as the pace is deliberate, and the author's hints about where it's all heading are too rare and subtle to create much suspense. (Fiction. 11-13, adult)
From the Publisher

Publishers Weekly
STARRED December 20, 2004

Cooper's (Jewish Holidays All Year 'Round) thoughtful if belabored novel centers on 12-year-old Sam, with a Jewish father and Christian mother, who feels caught in the middle-especially this holiday season. Since the family dog has pulled down the Christmas tree (or "Hanukkah bush," as his father insists they call it), presents will be arranged around the menorah, for the first time putting more emphasis on Hanukkah than Christmas. On Christmas Eve, which coincides with the first day of Hanukkah, Sam witnesses the clashing traditions of his feuding Jewish and Christian grandmothers, and he decides to ask God something that has been plaguing him: "What I want to know is, why can't people practicing different religions get along?" This question assumes greater proportions when Sam's class begins studying the Holocaust ("How could You let this happen?" he asks God), and when the boy learns they had a relative who was a prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp. In a rather strained subplot, Sam becomes smitten with Heather, a classmate he thinks is "cute," but whose mean-spiritedness (he finally realizes) is rooted in racism. Although the narrative becomes encumbered by some rather pointed exposition and repetitious discussion, Cooper introduces a likable young protagonist and raises some searching questions about tolerance, injustice, commitment to religion and communicating with God. Ages 9-12. (Oct.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Horn Book Magazine
(November 1, 2004

(Middle School, High School) An ironically named soldier, Private Thomas Peaceful, spends a sleepless night reviewing his past: "I've had nearly eighteen years of yesterdays and tomorrows, and tonight I must remember as many of them as I can." Is he on military watch? Conducting a vigil? As the hours (and chapters) tick from "five past ten" to "one minute to six" the following morning, Tommo recalls growing up in rural England at the turn of the twentieth century with his older brother, Charlie -- protector, best friend, and chief rival for the affection of their beguiling friend Molly. Exquisitely written vignettes explore bonds of brotherhood that cannot be broken by the physical and psychological horrors of the First World War. We eventually learn the reason for Tommo's sleepless night in a shattering, unexpected conclusion that is all the more effective for the stoicism with which the two brothers accept their separate but tragically entwined fates. Copyright 2004 of The Horn Book, Inc. All rights reserved.

School Library Journal
(November 1, 2004
STARRED
Gr 7 Up-At 15, Thomas Peaceful, like many other English soldiers in World War I, is too young to fight, but he lies about his age. Now at the front in France with his older brother Charlie he stands a lonely nighttime vigil for reasons that are not explained until the book's end, watching the minutes tick by and reflecting on his past. Using first-person narration, Morpurgo draws readers into this young man's life, relating memories that are idyllic, sobering, and poignant. Tommo thinks upon the role he played in his father's accidental death, the adventures that he shared with Charlie, his relationship with his childhood friend Molly, and the experiences that he has had since entering the war. Finally, he describes how Charlie disobeyed a direct order to stay with him after he was wounded in action, fully aware of this decision's dire consequences. While this story is not based on any one individual, Morpurgo has personalized the British tactic of executing their own soldiers "for cowardice or desertion," memorializing these men without passing judgment. While readers see the events through Tommo's eyes, the author does not lose sight of the war's effects on the teen's friends and family. Reminders come in the form of letters from home, rel

Library Journal
Seventeen-year-old Pvt. Thomas (Tommo) Peaceful stands watch through a sleepless night, recalling how he and his beloved older brother Charlie came to be soldiers in a war they do not understand. Tommo's memories introduce their close-knit family, cruel landlords, and Molly, the girl loved by both brothers. We learn that Charlie left his post to care for his injured brother, a fateful decision in the British Army, where soldiers were routinely killed for lesser offenses. As the young soldier counts the minutes to dawn, it is clear this is not going to end well.—Angelina Benedetti, "35 Going on 13," BookSmack! 8/19/10
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786289462
  • Publisher: Gale Group
  • Publication date: 9/28/2006
  • Edition description: Large Print
  • Pages: 226
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.73 (w) x 8.54 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author


Michael Morpurgo, former Children's Laureate of Britain, is the author of War Horse, called “Superb" by the New York Times Book Review, and now a major motion picture. His other prize-winning books include Kensuke's Kingdom, Private Peaceful, and The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips. Michael lives in Devon, England, with his wife, Clare. Together, they founded the charity Farms for City Children, which gives children from urban areas an opportunity to spend a week working on a farm in the countryside. You can find out more about him and his books at michaelmorpurgo.org.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 25 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(21)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(1)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 25 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 23, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Private Peaceful Review

    In this book, Morpurgo captivates emotions so stong that it had me sobbing to the last page. Way better than my high school's history books!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2008

    A Young Soldier

    Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgu is a great and an amazing book. The main character, Thomas Peaceful, a sixteen-year-old, lives through hard situations. He witnesses his father¿s death and blames himself for it he also has the fear of being alone. Then when he goes to school he starts to love this girl Molly, but she likes his best friend. Then the First World War begins, and Tom and his best friend lied about their age to go to the war. There they witness and become a part of hard, life threatening situations. He does not know if he is going to make it through enough to make it home alive. This book would be for people who like action, war, and anti-war books with a little twist. It is full of action in 195 pages, which means that it stays amusing from beginning to end. I give this book two thumbs up and give it 5 stars rating.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2012

    DON'T CHECK IT OUT!

    My personal opinion of this book is not good! My review is not positive because it sounds like it was written for a Social Studies teacher, it was NOT an uplifting book and because it sounds like the author didn't know how to end the book and made a drop-off ending.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 16, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    i recommend this book to people who like a heart warming book!

    December/15/2011

    The reason that I would recommend the reading of this book is that, in my opinion, It is really good book for many reasons. One of the many reason¿s that I would recommend the reading of the book is that the vocabulary really fit the story. The setting is in London, and the main characters are three boys by the name of Thomas (tommo), Charlie, & Joe Peaceful. Thomas is the main character. He later in the story goes to fight a war in France. In the war things take a change for the worst. They put Thomas I charge of a night stand and he has difficulty staying awake. As the seconds slowly wind down he starts remembering the memories he had as a child. One of the memories that he had is his love of his life.. Molly! The story throughout is very entertaining!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 12, 2011

    Love Love Love Peaceful!

    I almost didn't want to pick up this book because it was war related, but honestly i don't believe i was ever so touched by a book. To think that honest men had to go through these difficulties day by day, is something that is beyond heart breaking. This is a story of a life that i will never forget. I will carry this story in my heart. I will highly recommend this book to any high school student.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 2, 2010

    Private Peaceful

    Private Peaceful is about two brothers that go into the war. There are three brothers and one mom. One brother is big Joe he has autism and people pick on him, another brother is Thomas he is the youngest of the three brothers, and the other one is Charily he is the oldest of the three brothers. Thomas and Charily are the ones how go into the war.


    Michael Morpurgo has a different way of writing his novels and books. He has written many books and novels like out of the ashes, why the whales came, and my favorite one Private Peaceful.


    This book dissevers 10-10 stars for its out standing thrill and action. Some of the awards the Private Peaceful has won are OBE and young reader.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 19, 2009

    Private Peaceful

    My 8th grade granddaughter read this book in class and sent it on to me.
    It was an excellent read about an aspect of WWI of which I was not aware. Well written and gripping. Interesting format as well. I feel it is important that today's children learn American and world history and I am always sharing books with them about different chapters in our past. I have even bought two additional copies of Private Peaceful to give to another granddaughter on her birthday and for our now 7 year old grandson to read when he is older!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2008

    Private peaceful is the best book ever

    I've read this book 5 times no Joke. It's the best

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2008

    a reviewer

    A sad story about a 16 year old boy in the army.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2007

    Going to War

    Tommo Peaceful and his brother Charlie had a great life together. Charlie took his brother to his first day of school and even his last day. During their school days they met a girl named Molly. They both like her but she only liked one of them. They went to school together and also left together. She really helped them through the hard times when Charlie¿s and Tommo¿s dad died. He was hit by a tree when he was cutting wood. Tommo was with him that day and he believes it was his fault because his father tried to save him when the tree was coming down. That¿s when everything went bad. Tommo¿s mother would have to work at the Big House or the Colonel was going to kick them out of the house. Then Grandma Wolf came to live with them and they hated her because she was so mean. Then all of the sudden Charlie had to go to war. Tommo went to look after him and then they endured intense pain and they also lost some close friends. Now Tommo and Carlie have to survive to get back home. This is a really good book. It kept me interested the whole time and I couldn¿t put it down. I kept trying to guess what would happen next because it was full of suspense. Someone that would really enjoy this book would like suspense and war books. This is a really good book and you should read it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2007

    The Peaceful Brothers

    I gave this book a four because it was a good book but it wasnâ¿¿t awesome I liked it mostly because it is about war. This book is about two brothers named Tommo who is the youngest and Charlie who is the oldest. The two boys have been friends all of there life and do everything together. The boys also have a mom a brother and Charlie has a girl friend. The boys are told by there land owner that they have to go fight in the war because they were losing other wise they would get there house taken away so they both join and Charlie has some bad times in the war. Thatâ¿¿s all I can tell you so please read it you might enjoy it. I liked the book because it is about war and kind of the wilderness. The book is not part of a series or anything so you could read it when you want. This book reminds me of Band of Brothers or Saving private Ryan a little bit because the whole squad Charlie and Tommo are in work together. I hope you enjoy this book I read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2006

    Thumbs Up

    Great book. Very moving. I'm in high school, and am very picky about the books I read. I have to say that this book is one of my favorites. Since this as good I'm going to look into other books written by Michael Morpugo. Hope you love it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2006

    War and Peace

    ,this is what this book essentially is about. The beginning had me going in a totally opposite direction, but soon, the setting had changed. The grim and gruesome world of war had turned the series of events upside down. It's just saddening what challenges those men had gone through and what little recognition they got. The book is packed with crazy stories and adventures, even the ending is a one big twist on its own. The novel is a wonderful yet greatly thoughtful demonstration of human actions, relations, morals, and values, which in terms had improved my understanding of importance of individual and caring for the ones we love. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a great story, and more importantly, to the ones who are in a deep need of improving their social perspectives and understanding the true meanings of honor, comradeship, and respect.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2006

    Amazing!

    This book is just WOW! it is a awesome book that anyone who liked My brother sam is dead should read! The begenning is a little misleading but keep on reading it gets so much better! This is easily the BEST book I have ever read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2006

    excellent,sad,inspiring

    this book was amazing..so inspiring and tells what it must really feel like in a war.this book puts yourself in the place that the soldiers are feeling.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2006

    I love this book!!

    This books was really good. It is by far one of my favorite books. It's soo sad but very inspiring!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2006

    An awesome book

    I loved this book a lot. IT made me think of what is happening now in Iraq.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2005

    Awesome

    We chose to read this book for our High School's Book Club, and usually I kinda stay away from books like these, but once I started reading PP, I couldn't put it down! I read it in an afternoon and loved it! I couldn't believe the ending, it was completely opposite from what I had began to think was happening in the beginning. This is a must read for anyone!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2005

    book of strength and courage

    I am a book worm and love to read and when i stumbled across this at Barnes and Noble i picked up and started reading it. It truly was and heroic and sad story but tells the tell of strong brother hood during the harshest of times.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2004

    Sad but real-life ending

    We picked up this book at the Edinburgh International Book Festival this past summer, and perhaps because we have visited England and live in France, the story was very real to me. I am an over-50 mother of a 12-year old boy and we sometimes read each other's books when we run out of English-language reading material, as we are both voracious readers. This is one book we have both enjoyed a great deal and I am searching for more books by Michael Murpurgo for us to read.

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