Private Peaceful

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Tommo, Molly, and Charlie grow up together and have a number of adventures, including confronting their great-aunt known as the 'Wolfwoman' and being some of the first people in their village to ever see an airplane.

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However, as time goes on, Thomas begins to feel isolated and excluded due to the growing connection between Molly and Charlie, who fall in love. He later discovers that Charlie and Molly were dating in secret and that she has ended up pregnant. Charlie and Molly marry; Tommo is heartbroken but maintains his connection to them both. Tommo tells the stories of his wartime experiences, including his training and the savage trench battles he endures in France. Eventually, the brothers come under the command of the cruel Sergeant Hanley , who harbors a strong dislike for Charlie.

Throughout this time, Charlie protects Thomas from the worst of the cruelty of the war. During one of the attacks, Tommo becomes injured in No Man's Land. Charlie refuses to leave his brother when Sergeant Hanley orders the men to run back into combat. Charlie also tells Hanley that this order is suicidal and that men will die carrying it out.

Please note I am going to review my own enjoyment or lack thereof , not its usefulness during an English lesson.


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The main character's voice seemed targeted towards young children. Therefore, I could not connect to him, the other characters and the story. At the beginning, Thomas is still a boy. I'd say he's twelve years old, tops. And you can definitely tell. When Thomas gets older, I didn't even notice it.

Private Peaceful, review - Telegraph

His voice remained childish. Thomas claims he loves Charlie and Molly, but actually complains about them most of the time.

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He puts them on a pedestal, but is constantly jealous of them. The author felt the need to confirm how straight Thomas actually is. By no means am I saying that children cannot realise their sexuality at a young age. Neither do I claim that kids don't get crushes. However, there was only one female character besides his mother and of course, Thomas 'loves' her. His attitude towards her really bothered me. When he thinks he is going to die, he wants Molly to be his last thought. This girl is married to his brother and pregnant with his child! Do I even need to explain how disturbing this is?

Thomas never gets over his childhood crush and it is creepy. Furthermore, he never once explains why he 'loves' Molly.


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We know nothing about her personality. One might think the only reason he likes her, is because she is a girl. Either the characters are portrayed as saints or they were evil villains. That is not realistic. Every person does both good and bad things. I am not even talking about the war here. I know people where capable of doing terrible things then. But let's talk about Colonel for example. The reason why he hates the Peaceful's is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard.

Should Private Peaceful have been executed?

He wants to evict them because a boy with special needs blows raspberries at him?! He actually murders his dog?! It was so dramatic, I couldn't take it seriously.

Private Peaceful - Drama Movie

I even came across a plot hole: Molly was not allowed to see any of the Peaceful's anymore. Yet she meets Thomas in secret in the woods, to give him letters he has to hand over to Charlie. Why don't Charlie and Molly just meet instead? She isn't allowed to see Thomas either, so this doesn't make any sense. If I don't like a character, I won't enjoy the story. So, when Charlie died, I did not feel bad for him.

Review: ‘Private Peaceful’ at TBG Theatre

I don't want to blame the victim, but he really could have avoided things getting too far. But no, he chose to be arrogant and insult his sergeant instead. I do think the postcript's message was beautiful. Unfortunately, this book focussed much more on Thomas' childhood instead. Sadly, I did not feel the same, as I did not care about any of the characters and the plot.

Mar 06, Emma rated it it was amazing Shelves: read , for-school.

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I am crying, you're crying, we're all crying. Sep 03, Krista the Krazy Kataloguer rated it liked it Shelves: read-ya , read-historical-fiction. A British teenage boy follows his brother into the army during World War I and is sent to the trenches in France. Describes how men who broke under the stress of war were shot as deserters. Pair this with Marcus Sedgwick's The Foreshadowing for a grim picture of the realities of war.

May 31, Naomi rated it it was amazing. I first read "Private Peaceful" when I was about ten years old and I remember that it had a great impression on me.

hukusyuu.com/profile I borrowed it from the school library without particularly high expectations. I had read some of Morpurgo's work before and although I had enjoyed it I recall thinking that this book looked decidely dull. However, when I began to read the story I found it to be both historically interesting and fantastically gripping. It was the first book that really made me cry which just goes to I first read "Private Peaceful" when I was about ten years old and I remember that it had a great impression on me.

It was the first book that really made me cry which just goes to show how effective it was emotionally. For a long time after reading the book I continued to name it as my favourite ever book. Unlike many other books that have had a large effect on me I have only read "Private Peaceful" once because I am worried that if I reread it I will be disappointed and that my memories of this wonderful book will be tainted by an underwhelming second reading. However, I would definately recommend the book to anyone and I will always remember the enjoyment it provided for my ten year old self.

This book is a realistic historical fiction novel about a man called Thomas Peaceful. He and his brother are called to fight in WW1, and this book is about the horrors of war and the disasters that destroy Thomas Peaceful's life. I think you would like this book if you like historical fiction and learning about other's lives.


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Aug 16, Rob Twinem rated it it was amazing. One of the most tragic events of the 20th century was the senseless slaughter and sacrifice of many young men on the battlefields of the Somme,Verdun and Passchendaele. The iconic recruitment poster of Lord Kitchener, wearing a cap of a British Field Marshall, stares and points at the viewer pleading to their sense of allegiance and responsibility by declaring However many of these battalions sustained heavy causalities and this had a significant impact on their communities at home.

In the small Devon town of Hatherleigh lives young Tommo Peaceful with his brother Charlie and the girl they both adore, Molly. This is family life, village life, captured in the idyllic Devon countryside before the encroachment and black clouds of world war 1 destroys the dreams and aspirations of so many in pointless sacrifice ensuring that life would never be the same again Tommo and Charlie are gripped in the romantic notion of helping to eradicate the threat of the Hun who were attempting to grow their military might and realize their imperialistic ambitions.

So the two brothers and close friends from the village march blindly off to war where the initial patriotic enthusiasm dies tragically amidst pointless butchering when the reality of war is revealed I could believe only in the hell I was living in, a hell on earth and it was man-made, not God-made" All I have left now is my fear" Michael Morpurgo expertly portrays the senseless slaughter and sacrifice of world war 1 to a young impressionable adult audience. This is achieved by comparing the beauty and peacefulness of the English countryside with the shell ravaged mud filled trenches of France Private Peaceful is a sombre novel to be read by young and old.

It's simplistic language is very effective in creating an image of a time when the romantic notion of war quickly became a vision of hell and where the loss of millions was seen as an acceptable price for the march of imperialism and the misguided ambitions of WW1 military leaders.

Highly Recommended. Mar 21, Ginny Potter rated it really liked it.