World War I is turning Europe upside down. Our narrator is steadfast Joey, a beautiful young farm horse who suddenly finds himself in the thick of battle when his owners sell him to the British army. With the help of the soldiers and his strong stallion companion Topthorn, Joey is able to prove his bravery in even the toughest situations, but the young master that he left behind, Albert, is always on his mind. Albert is heartbroken to say goodbye to his spirited friend and vows to find his beloved Joey one day, even if he has to enlist in the services when he is old enough. Their inevitable reunion seems impossible, though, as Joey gets captured by the Germans as a prisoner of war. Under their new masters, he and Topthorn travel around the countryside to pull the hospital wagons for injured soldiers. The pair find brief solace in the company of sweet young Emilie and her grandfather, French civilians who care for them through a long and brutal winter. Sadly, the comforts of their care are short-lived when the horses are commissioned to go back into battle. For Joey, the war drags ever on as conditions worsen and the horses around him begin to drop one by one. Will Joey ever free himself from battle to see his dear Albert again? War Horse gets right in the middle of a messy period of time and shows the downsides of battle from a very unique point of view. Its message of peace resonates throughout the book, and readers will be rooting for Joey to make it through the violence in one piece. 176 pages.
Recommended by Molly Crumbley, Librarian.