So many served – so few returned.
Bess The Brave War Horse is a book of courage, trust and devotion. It is a tribute to the thousands of horses that served on the front lines during WWll. Horses that were transported from an idyllic life in our ‘grassy green fields’ to a strange and hostile land where they were trained for battle.
Susan Brocker tells the story of one brave and beloved horse, Bess, and the loyal service she gave her master, Captain Powles. Bess and the other horses of war take centre stage throughout the book and the narrative highlights their resolute and determined efforts to serve. Raymond McGrath’s exceptional illustrations are vivid without focusing on the gruesomeness of war, and they support the reader in becoming immersed in an often forgotten part of our history.
The sadness in this story is not only related to the cruelty and senselessness of war but also the tragedy and devastation in its aftermath. This is a powerful and poignant book that is based on a true story and it undoubtedly has a place in every NZ community and school library.
Title: Bess the Brave War Horse
Author: Susan Brocker
Illustrator: Raymond McGrath
Date of Publication: March 2019
Reviewer’s name, job title, school name & region: Ali Kersten Teacher librarian, Hereworth School
How highly are you recommending this book? Highly recommended
What’s the book’s opening sentence? Bess grew up in grassy green fields near the sleepy town of Martinborough.
You can buy this book here