Childrens Fantasy Historical Fiction

Animal Farm – George Orwell

5 December 2019
Animal Farm Book Cover Animal Farm
George Orwell
Plume Books

A satire on totalitarianism in which farm animals overthrow their human owner and set up their own government.


An extremely famous and popular book that carries a major political message. Essentially Animal Farm is a parody of communism from the Bolshevik revolution, to the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin. Beyond the obvious, we can see that this is a tale as relevant today as it was in the 1940s. After the Romanovs were removed, what actually changed for the average person? This is the incredible foresight George Orwell had when first publishing his book in 1945. We can package a revolution and a new beginning with glorious expectations but as sure as there’s an eye on a goat (felt an appropriate pun), it will all revert to the same old power system. Just with different faces, names, terminology and supposed ideology. There will always be a system which incorporates Boxer, Napoleon and Squealer.

“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others”

Looking at the world with issues of racial, tribal, religious, immigration and the rich-poor divide, we are always creating a separation between those in power and those that assent. Those in power, end up self-serving.

I found the book an excellent fairy-tale story for children where at a very basic level it is an interesting, emotive fable where we can love and dislike the different figures and teach children about the rights and wrongs of behaviour. Gradually you can use it to explain history, our society and how relationships operate within friend groups, workgroups, social groups and nations. It is, however, a very deep analogous exposé of how those in power use that power to keep the majority distracted, subjugated and obedient, while they manufacture benefits for themselves.

This is a bucket list book that everyone should read.

Peter Donnelly

Founder of The Reading Desk, supporting readers, authors, publishers and book industry. Top Reviewer on Amazon, Goodreads, and NetGalley

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