I Believe in Unicorns by Michael Morpurgo

I Believe in Unicorns

Written by Michael Morpurgo

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Michael Morpurgo pulls on the heart strings in a short book into which he has packed a number of strands, richly woven together. Tomas lives for the outdoors: he hates books, reading and stories. But one day, his mother forces him into the library and everything changes. Tomas hears the magical story of the unicorn and is soon spell bound by its power. Soon, reading and the wonderful stories that unfold before him become central to his life. But things are changing around Tomas too as the distant rumble of war is suddenly brought close to home. When his village suffers a direct hit, he realises what really matters to him. Morpurgo keeps on the right side of sentimentality and creates a sensitive boy hero. ~ Julia Eccleshare


I Believe in Unicorns by Michael Morpurgo

A moving story about unity and inspiration in the face of destruction, by the 2003-2005 Children's Laureate and author of the internationally acclaimed War Horse.

Tomas hates school, hates books and hates stories. Forced to visit the library, he stops to listen to magical tales that the Unicorn Lady spins. These tales draw him in and are about to change the course of his life for ever...Set against the backdrop of war-torn Europe, I Believe in Unicorns explores the power of stories to transform lives.


I Believe in Unicorns needs to be bought for every library, school and home ... to share with as many children as we can so that they can experience its magic for themselves. The Bookseller A book which deserves to be read to or by every child to assure them that in this brash, too busy world there is still time to lose themselves in a story, to dream a little... If I gave books stars, this would have a twinkling five out of five. Newbury Weekly News The whole book has a dreamlike, haunting quality about it that helps to carry the story along - wonderful. Chingford Guardian A charming story, beautifully presented, expertly combining fantasy with grim reality. It results in a touching ending...that may have you believing in unicorns as well! Primary Times in Hampshire An enchanting tale...the latest offering from ex - Children's Laureate Morpurgo is every bit as good as his previous work. With simple sentence structures, an endearing storyteller and a captivating storyline, this makes a great book for children who have just started to feel confident reading on their own. Junior A moving story about unity and inspiration in the face of destruction. The Bookseller Children's Buyer's Guide

About the Author

Michael Morpurgo

March 16 was Michael Morpurgo month on Lovereading4kids - click here to view the favourites we selected on themes of Legends, Animals, War and Journeys.

Michael Morpurgo, OBE, MBE, is one of the UK’s best-loved authors and storytellers. He was appointed Children’s Laureate in May 2003, a post he helped to set up with his friend Ted Hughes in 1999. He was awarded an OBE for services to Literature in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2007. He has written over 120 books, including Kensuke’s Kingdom which won the Children’s Book Award 2000 and was shortlisted for the Whitbread Children’s Book Award and the Carnegie Medal in 2000. His novel, Private Peaceful, a harrowing story about the First World War was published in Autumn 2003. It won the 2004 Red House Children’s Book Award and the Blue Peter Book Award in 2005. His novel Shadow about a boy from Afghanistan and the dog he befriends won the Red House Children’s Book Award, voted for by children.

Many of Michael’s books have been adapted for the stage. These include Private Peaceful, Kensuke’s Kingdom, Why the Whales Came and The Mozart Question, and most notably, the National Theatre’s production of War Horse which then moved to a theatre in central London. This production of Michael’s moving and powerful story of survival on the Western Front, which reached number one in the Observer’s top ten theatre performances and was also awarded the best design prize in the Evening Standard Theatre Awards. This production also played in New York where it was awarded five Tony Awards. In 2012 the film adaptation of War Horse, directed by Steven Spielberg, was a box office success.
Michael travels all over the UK and abroad talking to children and telling his stories and encouraging them to tell theirs.

In 1976, Michael and his wife, Clare, started the charity Farms for City Children. They help to run three farms around the country, in Gloucestershire, Pembrokeshire and North Devon. Each farm offers children and teachers from urban primary schools the chance to live and work in the countryside for a week, and gain hands-on experience. For more information about the work of Farms for City Children, please visit www.farmsforcitychildren.co.uk

Michael Morpurgo lives in Devon with his wife Clare. He has three children and seven grandchildren.

Michael Morpurgo was our Guest Editor in June 2010. Click here to see the books that inspired his writing, or scroll down to see books written by Michael.

Anthony Horowitz on Michael Morpurgo:

'Michael Morpurgo is the most solid, classical of children's authors. He sits outside the series-driven blockbusters so beloved of publishers nowadays: he hasn't created a Harry Potter or an Alex Rider – and I admire him for resisting that. We are opposite sides of the same coin and, although his work has never influenced mine, I admire the eloquent, considered voice of his best books. He has an unerring moral compass – his schoolteacher past has never quite left him – and books such as War Horse and The Butterfly Lion have a strong social concience and an honesty that makes them universal.' (The Guardian)

Why not CLICK HERE to take a peek at Michael’s 10 Rules for Writing.

or Click here to read a Q&A with the author.

You can also read about his life in a new biography, War Child to War Horse, to which he has contributed seven stories - click here to find out more.

Michael is the inaugural President of the Historical Writers Association starting from Autumn 2011, (www.thehwa.co.uk) It was founded to bring social and professional support to writers of historical fiction and non-fiction, publishers, agents and booksellers, all bound both by their common interest in historical books and by the sense of community that comes from a shared obsession.

Since its creation, the Historical Writers' Association has launched a Festival of Historical Writing in association with English Heritage as part of their Festival of History at Kelmarsh in Northamptonshire.


March 2016 was Michael Morpurgo Month - a special month-long celebration of the varied and wonderful works of Michael Morpurgo as he celebrates his 70th year and also to mark the 40th anniversary of his and his wife’s Farms for City Children charity. Each week we featured a different selection of books under the themes of Journeys, War, Legends and Animals. We invited our readers to review many of the books that featured during Michael Morpurgo month - and you can download all their reviews here.

If you like Michael Morpurgo you might also like to read books by Robert Westall, Anne Fine, Sarah Lean and Celia Rees.

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Book Info


112 pages
Interest Age: From 7


Michael Morpurgo
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Walker Books Ltd

Publication date

5th November 2015




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