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Friend or Foe is a children's historical fiction novel, written by Michael Morpurgo, and published in 1977.

Evacuated from London, David and Tucky feel like the war is a long way away from their new life in the countryside. Then one night the skyline of the moor is lit up with gun flashes, and the distant crump of bombing miles away brings the war back to them and shatters their new-found peace. When a German bomber crashes, the boys feel they should hate the airmen inside. But one of them saves David's life...

Reader's Reviews


Michael Morpurgo is an award winning author who has wrote books for children and adults, many of which have been used in the classroom for KS2 classes through guided reading sessions. Having read ‘Friend or Foe’ within a class setting, I can see that children thoroughly enjoy it. The book is set in World War 2 where Britain is under attack by the Germans, and this has led to children being evacuated from their city homes to the countryside. The main character are 2 children called David and Tucky who have been brought up thinking the Germans are their enemies, yet the story develops such that a German pilot saves David’s life.

The key theme of this book is how the children are taught to make up their own opinions and to become independent, rather than relying on other people. It was interesting to see the debates that occurred over how the children would react in the same situation, would they tell the police that the Germans were here? Or would they have looked after the Germans, because they had saved the children’s life?

‘Friend or Foe’ was particularly interesting for the children I read it to, as they were intrigued with the book being set in World War 2, and that they could relate to the main characters due to being of a similar age. During one term, the class I worked in developed a video clip, where they created characters out of felt, card and other materials, and then they filmed an extract of the book and created voiceovers to go with the clip.


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Parental Guidance

  • Reading Age: 9+
  • Reading Aloud Age: 8+

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