Half a Man

When Michael’s grandfather comes to visit, he is told not to look at him and not to ask questions. All he knew was that Grandpa had been burned while serving in the merchant navy during World War II. When Michael grows older, he spends summer holidays with his grandfather where he lives: on an island with about 80 residents, in the Scilly Isles. He becomes one of the few people who looks at Grandpa, and in time, Grandpa tells the story 51PoFuRkRrL._AA160_of what happened.

The beauty in this story–although it is a sad and painful story–is that Michael waits for Grandpa, never pushing or trying to get at the story for his own curiosity; Michael waits and listens to Grandpa, and by doing so, builds trust.

Because it is a family story that a grandparent holds inside until a caring grandchild listens, Half a Man reminds me of Hidden. Beautifully illustrated by Gemma O’Callaghan and written by Michael MorpurgoHalf a Man is a book to contemplate long after the reading is done.


About AnEducationInBooks

Wendy BooydeGraaff is the author of Salad Pie, a children's picture book published by Ripple Grove Press. Her work has been published in Emrys Journal Online, The Emerson Review, Jellyfish Review, Bending Genres, SmokeLong Quarterly and Leopardskin & Limes, and is forthcoming in NOON. Read more work at wendybooydegraaff.com or find her on Twitter @BooyTweets.
This entry was posted in Books with social studies links, Children's novels, Love that art and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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