Not Bad for a Bad Lad

Publisher: Templar

Review

Morpurgo and Foreman are a winning combination, and their latest collaboration brings their talents together to tell the story of a boy whose wild behaviour led him into borstal (Youth Custody) before he discovered his true talent.

Based on Hollesley Bay, near Foreman's boyhood home, Morpurgo places his tale as a narrative from a grandfather explaining to his grandson how his difficult post-war childhood had led him into petty crime and ultimately to borstal.

Put to work with the Suffolk Punches on the prison farm, on release the boy eventually tracks down a difficult horse he tamed, and joins the army to unite his love of music and horses.

A reassuring story, subtly, empathetically and evocatively illustrated.

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