This is another amazing Middle School Language Arts book. Very powerful writing from Michael Morpurgo. Set in the first world war it tells the story of two brothers growing up and follows them from their rural life into the disaster of the first world war. Middle School students will not forget reading this.
Morpurgo is an amazing writer and can really 'get to you' - his book Kensuke's Kingdom also brought tears to my eyes, but in 'Private Peaceful' it's a very different kind of sadness. In Kensuke's Kingdom the ending is sad due to the parting of two friends, but it is an understandably necessary outcome. In Private Peaceful the tears are of despair mixed with frustration at the injustice of the situation. I know it is fiction, but I am still angry about it because the setting is so skillfully done that we know that the story is also 'true'.