by Michael Morpurgo

Scholastic, $8.99, 185 pages

This inspiring story is about an Irish Draft horse named Joey and his journey through World War I. In War Horse, Joey lives on a rural farm in England with his human Albert. Unfortunately, his farm life abruptly ends when Albert’s father drafts Joey to be a cavalry horse. After training, Joey bonds with Captain Nicolas and his friend’s horse Topthorn. After a suspenseful tragedy a new human named Warren is paired with Joey. During his next assault upon the German forces, Topthorn and Joey are separated from their humans and become ambulance horses for the Germans, where they end up saving many people both British and German. In a touching moment, a German soldier gives an iron cross to Joey & Topthorn for their brave rescue of him giving young readers the lesson that life is more important than ethnicities, boundaries or war. This book can easily be compared with Black Beauty in drama, good storyline and emotional connection to the characters including that of the equestrian sort. A good read for horse lovers, and the not too squeamish.

Leona Johnson