Our Jacko


Michael avoids the scruffy tin helmet. Otto, his older brother plays with it. It becomes a hanging basket at one point. It has been forgotten by the family by the time Michael seeks to reunite with it. It triggers a memory in Michael’s father that the helmet belonged to ‘Our Jacko‘, brother to Grandpa Tom’s grandfather. The helmet returned from battle, but ‘Our Jacko’ did not. What is his story?

Michael Morpurgo captures interest in his readers expertly. We empathise with Michael’s fears, yet as his curiosity is piqued by his father’s information, we are keen to learn more. ‘Our Jacko’ takes us to the battlefields experienced by Michael’s forebears. We realise the fear, mud, noise and horror. Few writers can empathise like Michael Morpurgo, or create a picture into which we are so drawn.

David Gentleman’s accompanying illustrations are sombre, reflective and beautiful. ‘Our Jacko‘ is a collector’s piece, a truly impressive, memorable book.


Our Jacko

Michael Morpurgo, illustrated by David Gentleman

(Walker Books)

‘Our Jacko‘ didn’t come home from the war, but his helmet did. That’s the story that Michael hears about the old tin helmet. What is its story? Who is ‘Our Jacko’? Can Michael face his fears and unearth the story of the young man beneath the helmet?
Sir Michael Morpurgo’s  stories stir minds and pierces hearts. Through creating tales that we share with a contemporary character in his story, the writer insists that we learn about and care for real people and experiences. Like In the Mouth of the Wolf and Poppy Field, this title is a classic war tale destined to be treasured by generations of readers.


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