13 Oct 2010

THE AMAZING STORY OF ADOLPHUS TIPS.

THE AMAZING ADOLPHUS TIPS by MICHAEL MORPURGO.
It's 1943, and Lily Tregenza lives on a farm in the idyllic seaside village of Slapton. Apart from her father being away, and the 'townie' evacuees at school, her life is scarcely touched by the war. Until one day, Lily and her family, along with 3000 other villagers, are told to move out of their homes - lock, stock and barrel.

Soon, the whole area is out of bounds, as the Allied forces practise their landings for D-Day, preparing to invade France. But Tips, Lily's adored cat, has other ideas - barbed wire and keep-out signs mean nothing to her, nor does the danger of guns and bombs. Frantic to find her, Lily makes friends with two young American soldiers, who promise to help her. But will she ever see her cat again? Lily decides to cross the wire into the danger zone and look for Tips herself ....

Now, many years later, as Michael is reading his Grandma Lily's diary, he learns about The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips - and wonders how one adventurous cat could still affect their lives sixty years later.
..... From the inner, front cover.

FIRST SENTENCE: I first read Grandma's letter over ten year's ago, when I was twelve.

MEMORABLE MOMENT: I've seen lots of lambs born, lots of calves, and each time it surprises me how quickly they can get up and walk on their wobbly legs. What takes us a year or more, they can do inside an hour.

I don't usually read animal stories but was determined to give this one ago after falling in love with the cat (Tips) on the front cover.

A charming, well written story with an ending that had me in tears. However a bit of a disappointment in that the story was not really about Tips at all  but more the story of Lily and her war time experience growing up in a small community during the second World War which saw not only the absence of many of the menfolk but also the evacuation of an entire village as well as the introduction of evacuees from the cities and  towns.

Though Slapton is not a real place, this novel is based on actual events - certain parts of the English coastline "became like a huge army camp. As the invasion forces gathered and rehearsed  many coastal areas had to be cleared so that simulated landings from the sea could take place" - and as such is quite a gentle way to discuss themes of war with children.

Not quite what I expected but still a good read that I'm sure would make a good drama. I recommend this in particular to anyone who enjoyed Michelle Magorian's GOODNIGHT MISTER TOM.

Ex-library stock, this was purchased at our local library.

16 comments:

Sanand said...

Sounds interesting, particularly the way it begins and some excerpts that you produced here for us to read. Good post, and glad to read it.

Vivienne said...

I am tempted to buy the set of books by Michael Morpurgo from the Book People. I have heard such good things about his books from the teachers at school, yet I have never read one of them. I am pleased to hear this one isn't just about a cat, that it has more depth to it, so it would definitely appeal to me.

Darlyn said...

I have to say the book really has a great premise. Very appealing and I think it has a great plotline too. Thanks for sharing!

Misha1989 said...

The book sounds really different to me. Thanks for the review! I would definitely add this to my TBR

SG said...

Thanks for the nice review. Looks more like a war-time experience.

Melissa Gill said...

That looks like a great book. I always enjoy your picks.

GMR said...

Bummer on the surprise story line....but I kind of figured that would happen reading the "inside cover" information. Still, all in all sounds like a good read with a little touch of the feline variety to spur it along. Thanks for sharing...and happy reading....

Kelly said...

Well, I'm definitely more of a dog person than a cat person, but this does sound like a good book. Animal stories will bring me closer to tears than any other kind.

Oddyoddyo13 said...

I'm not usually an animal story person either, but this one sounded pretty cool. She was right about the lambs being born. :)

Heather said...

I read this book several years ago (before blogging) and remember a lot of tears on my part. Great writer.

readerbuzz said...

I'd never heard of Morpurgo until I started reading all the 1001 Children's Books, but now I love him.

Jenners said...

I just love the cat's name! And I imagine that no cat would be held back by barbed wire or signs.

Martha@A Sense of Humor is Essential said...

Good review and I love to purchase the ex library stock!
Thank you, Witty Pet and also for the Birthday Greetings.

Alyce said...

I haven't heard of Goodnight Mister Tom or this book, but I really like WWII books, so I was curious to see what you'd say. I think it is probably one I would like, and partly because I want to know what happens to the cat (even if the story is not centered on him). :)

Shy said...

However a bit of a disappointment in that the story was not really about Tips at all but more the story of Lily and her war time experience growing up in a small community during the second World War

This statement of yours reminded me of Dewey by Vicki Myron, a book that I read early this year. I also felt the same way when I read that book as HUGE chunk of the book was actually dedicated to the author and the town she lives in.

However, as a cat lover I'm pretty sure that this book will still drew me in. I love the fact that it was well written to the point that could bring you into tears. I'm hoping to get the chance to read this one as I can hardly find any other book about cat other than Dewey.

Thank you so much for visiting my blog. I'm going to frequent your site from this day onwards. Good day!

naida said...

This sounds good and Tips is really cute.
Great review :)
http://thebookworm07.blogspot.com/