Simpson's Donkey

Peter Stanley
AUD $14.99
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Availability: Print on demand

A compelling story of the history of the Great War, told for upper primary readers. Beautifully drawn illustrations bring the characters, time and place to life.

Based on the most famous animal in Australian history Simpson's Donkey tells the story of his service during the Gallipoli campaign where for three weeks he was one of several donkeys that Simpson used to carry wounded men down to Anzac Cove. His life before and after Gallipoli is a mystery but Peter Stanley beautifully imagines the rest for the reader.

Stanley tells the donkey's story--in the donkey's own voice--taking the reader on a journey from the Aegean island of Lemnos to Gallipoli to Egypt, Palestine and then back to Gallipoli at the end of the Great War. In doing so Simpson's Donkey not only brings the donkey's story to life it also brings the horrible realities of war to the fore.

The war is the backdrop to the donkey's tale and as we follow the little donkey on his journey we also learn about the war and its terrible impact on people and animals alike. The story begins with the donkey being separated from his adored mistress Sofya when the Greeks occupy Lemnos in 1913, and after various adventures--in which each new owner calls him by a new name--he returns to Gallipoli in 1919 to be reunited with his beloved Sofya.

From village beast of burden to hospital pet, to supply carrier for the war in the desert, the donkey's story is an adventurous journey on which he meets courage and cruelty, and comradeship between human and donkey alike.

Author bio:

Dr Peter Stanley is Australia's most prolific writer on the Great War. He has published 25 books, most dealing with the experience of war in Australia and Britain. Peter's books include Tarakan, White Mutiny, For Fear of Pain, Quinn's Post, Anzac, Gallipoli, Invading Australia, A Stout Pair of Boots and Men of Mont St Quentin. His books published by Pier 9 include Commando to Colditz, Bad Characters and Simpson's Donkey. Formerly the Principal Historian at the Australian War Memorial, where he worked from 1980 to 2007, he heads the Centre for Historical Research at the National Museum of Australia and is an adjunct professor at the Australian National University and the Australian Defence Force Academy.

Category: Young adult non-fiction
ISBN: 9781741968118
Publisher: Murdoch Books
Imprint: Pier 9
Pub Date: March 2011
Format: Book
Subject: Young adult non-fiction