Flamingo Boy

Flamingo Boy

Michael Morpurgo

reviewed by bookwolf3

Flamingo Boy is the landmark new novel from the nation’s favourite storyteller, set in the unique landscape of the Camargue in the South of France during WW2. There, a young autistic boy lives on his parents’ farm among the salt flats, and the flamingos that live there. There are lots of things he doesn’t understand: but he does know how to heal animals. He loves routine, and music too.  Every week he goes to market with his mother, to ride his special horse on the town carousel.

But then the Germans come, with their guns, and take the town. A soldier shoots a flamingo from the sky, and it falls to earth terribly injured. And even worse is to come: the carousel is damaged, the horses broken. For this vulnerable boy, everything is falling apart.

Only there’s a kind sergeant among the Germans – a man with a young boy of his own at home, a man who trained as a carpenter. Between them, perhaps boy and man can mend what has been broken – and maybe even the whole town…


A good book for younger kids about acceptance and hope.


Content Rating


Sex & Nudity


Violence & Gore

Very Mild – An egret is shot, a flamingo is shot and her wing is broken but she survives

Profanity & Insults

Mild – Gyppos, dirty beggars, lousy rats, a girl is bullied because she is a gypsy, she is called a stupid gypsy girl, wicked heathen child, dressed in rags, dirty, “don’t need her kind here” is said about a jewish teacher, gypsies not wanted at the school, a boy is teased because he is autistic – crazy boy, idiot boy, flamingo boy, loony boy, loopy in the head, daft as a bloody brush, people are threatened because they have Roma friends

Alcohol, Drugs & Smoking


Frightening & Intense Scenes

Mild – A boy pushes Nazi soldiers around and is nearly shot, soldiers threaten a family, a character goes missing, but is soon found unharmed, a child’s parents are taken by soldiers

Spiritual Content

Praying to a gypsy saint, characters uphold moral values like respect


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