Sunday, 20 January 2013

The Ghost of Grania O'Malley by Michael Morpurgo

A had this book for Christmas in a bumper Morpurgo box set from her lovely godmother.  I pounced on it before she had the chance to, as I've been wanting to read it for a while.  Last year, after reading War Horse with Year 9, we found some video clips on the BBC schools site, narrated by Morpurgo, about how he goes about writing a new story.  In the final clip he read the opening to The Ghost of Grania O'Malley.  We all decided it sounded very good indeed.

I was slightly fearful, having only read deeply depressing Morpurgo books, that this was going to go down the same route.  In some ways it is similar to the other books of his that I've read - the characters are interesting and very well-drawn, and the story gains momentum as it gets toward the end - there's never a anti-climactic ending in his novels.

However, it was more uplifting, and somewhat less doom-and-gloom with regard to its depiction of human nature than the others I have read.  I did cry at the end, but the tears were mainly of happiness.  This raised the interest of both children (if "what's up with you?" can be deemed interest).  I gave a very brief summary of the book, and suggested to A that she might like to read it next.  "Well, you've just pretty much told me what happens, so I probably won't bother now".  I despair...

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