Private Peaceful

Private Peaceful

by Michael Morpurgo

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Reprint)

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From the Children's Laureate of England, a stunning novel of the First World War, a boy who is on its front lines, and a childhood remembered. Includes After Words bonus features.

As the enemy lurks in the darkness, Thomas struggles to stay awake through the night. He has lived through the terror of gas attacks and watched friends die by his side. But in the morning, Thomas will be forced to confront an even greater horror.
As the minutes tick by, Thomas remembers his childhood spent deep in the countryside with his mother, his brothers, and Molly, the love of his life. But each minute that passes brings Thomas closer to something he can't bear to to think about—the moment when the war and its horrific consequences will change his life forever.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780439636537
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date: 05/01/2006
Series: After Words Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 162,468
Product dimensions: 4.30(w) x 6.56(h) x 0.63(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About 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

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Private Peaceful 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 45 reviews.
bailrr More than 1 year ago
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!
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
bookenthusiast100 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A heartwrenching story about two brothers who must go to war. Shocking but beautiful.
gelario20 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A good book describing the love between two brothers, and how their bond is unbreakable even in the tides of war. People with brothers should read this book.
TimBazzett on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Although PRIVATE PEACEFUL is categorized as a novel for young adults (YA), I found it much more than that. Because I'm an Old Adult (OA), and found the story absolutely captivating from start to finish. It brought to mind, of course, Stephen Crane's The Red Badge of Courage (Enriched Classics (Pocket)) and its young hero, Henry Fleming, who, like Morpurgo's Tommo Peaceful, wanted desperately to prove he wasn't a coward. Going to war to prove one's manhood has long been a theme in literature. A more recent novel of the Second World War, Nick Arvin's Articles of War, is even closer in theme to Morpurgo's book. Arvin's novel owes much to William Bradford Huie's non-fiction classic, The Execution of Private Slovik. Morpurgo was, I suspect, very careful to avoid usage of the kind of casual obscenity that is endemic to the speech of rank and file military men. In so doing he was able to preserve his status as a writer of YA books. His descriptions of young (16) Tommo Peaceful and what he is thinking as he endures military training and then his various baptisms of fire in the horrors of WWI trench warfare are simply dead-on. You ache for this boy, who quickly, out of necessity, becomes a man. And the love felt between the Peaceful brothers - also brothers-in-arms - quickly becomes a unifying element of the story, from their childhood onward. Simply put, PRIVATE PEACEFUL is just superb story-telling for any audience, YA or OA. Now I have to find a copy of Morpurgo's companion piece, War Horse.
zhesheshubao on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Private Peaceful is one of the greatest war novels in history! It has vivid descriptions, an awesome storyline, and sweet battles. but you'd better have some Kleenex with you at all times, because it has some heart wrenching parts too. I would recommend this book to everyone that I can!
jayne_charles on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My nine year old daughter read this, and I decided to read it too as I was curious to know how something as grim as World War I would be represented in a children's book.I thought it was excellent, none of the wartime stuff was sanitised in the least (so I began to think maybe 9 was a bit too young to understand all of it), and the story was detailed yet accessible. By the end I was pretty sure my daughter had not followed it entirely - for one thing she was dry eyed on finishing the last page, which was more than can be said for me.
TeddyR on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Explains the horrors of war from the viewpoint of teen aged, English Soldier, Tommy Peaceful, during World War One. Describes Tommy's family life before the war, especially his relationship with his older brothers.
SMG-CLWalsh on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
i found this book to be great!!! i was very sad but still a great story line! i definately recommend this book especially if love reading michaels morpurgo books!
Smiler69 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"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 shan't sleep it away. I won't dream it away either. I mustn't, because every moment of it will be far too precious.I want to try to remember everything, just as it was, just as it happened. I've had nearly eighteen years of yesterdays and tomorrows, and tonight I must remember as many of them as I can. I want tonight to be long, as long as my life, not filled with fleeting dreams that rush me on towards dawn. Tonight, more than any other night of my life, I want to feel alive." Thus begins young Tommo Peaceful's narration of his short life story, which he tells us in several segments throughout the night. It isn't quite clear what dawn will bring, but we know he's racing against the clock¿actually, not a clock, but a watch that his beloved older brother Charlie has given him. As Thomas Peaceful recounts their childhood growing up in wretched poverty after the loss of their father, in a small town run by a cruel and egomaniac Colonel, but with the joy of a special friendship with a girl who is close to both brothers, with the relative freedom allowed in a rural setting, we are made all too aware that Tommo is writing his tale while he is in the midst or World War I, which he and Charlie have so far spent fighting in Yprès amid the gruel trench warfare that senselessly took countless lives. Another short but powerful novel by Murporgo, who's [War Horse] I recently read, this one has been nominated for and won a slew of awards, and they are well deserved. Haunting.
Lizzybeth23 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of my favorites. I've read again and again because each time, the story gets more and more interesting.
speciale17815 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was one of the best books that I have read. It was very indept about two brothers relation ship pre and during world war 1. It realy showed all of their feelings and it was veryu powerful.
countrylife on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Private Peaceful is Charlie Peaceful, about 17 years old, when he is forced to enlist in Britain's army. Private Peaceful is Tommo, 14, who lies about his age and enlists with his brother. The book begins with a countdown of one eventful night in the life of Private Thomas Peaceful. Five Past Ten. As he waits out the long night, Tommo purposes to remember everything about his past. His home life; his widowed mother; his oldest brother, Big Joe, who is mentally handicapped; his brother, Charlie; his school; his favorite class-mate, Molly; pets; fishing; song ¿ the past is written by the author in beautiful colors, with perhaps harsher strokes for the sad or bad times. His recent past, in Belgium during WWI, is painted in mud, with perhaps softer strokes for the few better times. Tommo's life is revealed in chunks of time throughout the night. The story is completed, the injustice revealed, and the book ends at One Minute to Six.Written with a beauty in relationship and place, and a force in the harshness of war, weather and often, people ¿ this is an outstanding book of historical fiction. Highly recommended.
gkuhns on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A young English soldier fighting in World War I awaits the dawn and his brother¿s summary execution for desertion. While he does, he spends the hours recounting his childhood memories and detailing the events that brought him to this moment. This book tells a story of World War I that is little known--that of the British Army's choice to execute its own soldiers. For this reason alone, it is a valuable high school resource. However, the humanity of the characters and the realism of the plot are never subjugated to the political message, which is a testament to the restraint of the author. The book is also full of the kind of interesting literary elements that literature teachers love. However, its slow beginning and confusing time shifts could make the book a difficult read for less competent readers.
joririchardson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book should become a classic... I absolutely love it and it's one of my favorites.Though not very long, Private Peaceful covers the life of a young man through his childhood to adulthood, and leading up to World War I. It is vividly realistic with very memorable characters. I like this book because it isn't really about World War I, it is about a soldier who happened to get caught up in World War I. It isn't so much about history as it is about someone's life.While this isn't actually a true story, it feels very genuine.However, don't expect this to be a happy, feel-good book. I cried twice, especially at the end...This is a powerful, excellent story.
iecj on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Two brothers serve in the army during WWI, but only one returns home to the family that they both love. The tragedy is that the brother who doesn¿t return home is killed not on the battle field, but by firing squad.The novel is formed via foreshadowing. It begins with Tommo telling the story of the Peaceful boys in their formative years as the clock ticks away towards the time when Charlie is to be executed. The first chapter title is ¿five past ten¿ and the last ¿one minute to six¿; six o¿clock being the time of Charlie¿s death. The text is engrossing and sure to be enjoyed by boys in particular. The book is appropriate for high school students.
brokenangelkisses on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A beautifully sad story: one young boy counts down the minutes until a momentus morning by remembering incidents from his past that lead, logically but not inescapably, to his current situation. This novel is sad without being morbid and shocking without being merely a shock.
edspicer on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What teens say:Having 6 brothers I instantly developed a special bond with the book. Morpurgo establishes genuine characters that you feel for and with. This story of loyalty and devotion will touch you and alter the way you view war. What I say:Private Peaceful is a fabulous, complex war story with an intriguing structure and plenty of surprises, including a shocking ending (don¿t skip the author¿s note at the end). As the clock that begins each chapter winds down, Tommo thoughts drift from the present tense to past memories of his brother Charlie and his family. Tommo changes in the pages of this book from a young, sheltered boy into a premature adult who struggles with the ugly realities of war. Don't miss this book. It is NOT a BBYA top ten book for nothing!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had to read this book for a class assignmnt, abd as soon as I red the first chapter, I was in book heaven! This is an amazing book with extrordinary detail that will have you laughibg and crying at the same time! In my opinion, alothough Morpurgo es get a little gory at times, this would be a great book for book projects(if you havn't already read it). Or of you just enjoy historical fiction novels, this would definetley be my go-to book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Got kiked out
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cougar_H More than 1 year ago
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!