By: Morris Gleitzman
Genre: Primary Fiction - YFB - General fiction (Children's/Teenage)
Published by: Penguin Australia
Published: 28 May 2014
ISBN: 9780670077427


Like many of his mates from the bush, Frank Ballantyne is keen to join the grand adventure and do his bit. Especially as a chest full of medals might impress the currently unimpressed parents of his childhood sweetheart. So Frank ups his age and volunteers with his horse Daisy ... and his dad.

In the deserts of Egypt and Palestine he experiences all the adventure he ever wanted, and a few things he wasn't expecting. Heartbreak, love and the chance to make the most important choice of his life.

From Gallipoli to the famous charge at Beersheba, through to the end of the war and its unforgettable aftermath, Frank's story grows out of some key moments in Australia's history.

They were loyal creatures, the men and horses of the Australian Light Horse, but war doesn't always pay heed to loyalty. This is the powerful story of a young man's journey towards his own kind of bravery.



This is truly an amazing story about friendship and loyalty.
Set in 1914, during the battles that took place in Egypt and Palestine, Frank Ballantyne and his father face the dilemma of war. Do they enlist?

Everyone in their town has strong views on whether to enlist, and Frank is determined that he will. But Frank is only 15 and his Dad made a promise to his Mum that he wouldn’t let Frank go to war. Should promises sometimes be broken?

So Frank and his beloved horse Daisy, and his dad and his horse Jimmy, find themselves on a boat headed to the war zone. What they encounter is brutal, and some of the fighting scenes are quite graphic, but this is far more than just a war story. The overwhelming feeling reading this book is the pure love, friendship and devotion that Frank has for his horse, as well as the loyalty that the horses showed to their soldiers.

All students aged 10 and up will find this a compelling read.

Reviewed by Sam