Half a Man
author: Michael Morpurgo
illustrator: Gemma O’Callaghan
From a young age, Michael was both fascinated by and afraid of his grandfather. Grandpa’s ship was torpedoed during the Second World War, leaving him with terrible burns. Every time he came to stay, Michael was warned by his mother that he must not stare, he must not make too much noise, he must not ask Grandpa any questions about his past. As he grows older, Michael stays with his grandfather during the summer holidays and learns the story behind Grandpa’s injuries, finally getting to know the real man behind the solemn figure from his childhood. Michael can see beyond the burns, and this gives him the power to begin healing scars that have divided his family for so long.
Revered author Michael Morpurgo evokes the post-war Britain of his childhood in this unflinching and deeply poignant tale of the physical and mental scars of war.