Flamingo Boy by Michael Morpurgo
  

Flamingo Boy

Written by Michael Morpurgo

9+ readers   Books of the Month   11+ readers   
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The Lovereading4Kids comment

March 2018 Book of the Month | In a nutshell: classic Morpurgo story of war, nature, bravery and love | Flamingo Boy is vintage Michael Morpurgo, just the kind of story he tells so brilliantly. Eighteen-year old Vincent is ‘following the bend in the road’, letting life take him where it will, and finds himself in the wild and beautiful landscape of the Camargue. There he meets Kezia and Renzo and, as they nurse him through a fever, hears their life stories. Vincent hangs on every word and readers will too as Kezia describes the events that brought her and Renzo together, and the threats and dangers their families faced during the war. It’s a story of love, loss, renewal and reconciliation, vividly told and touching on important issues that matter to every one of us. Inspired by his own grandson, who is autistic, Renzo, the boy with a special connection to nature and animals, is one of Morpurgo’s most striking and vital characters. ~ Andrea Reece

A message from the Author:

"I had never realised until [my grandson] became part of our family what this really meant, or what it was. I had not thought of writing a book about him, partly because the subject had been so well written about before and partly because my understanding of autism was too shallow. I simply didn't have the confidence to get started on a story. But then a visit to the Camargue in the South of France, a wild and wonderful national park where pink flamingoes fly, gave me the story of an autistic boy growing up in a farmhouse amongst these creatures. I decided to set the story during the Second World War when France was an occupied country. Where children and people who were different were under threat, whether they were gypsies or Jews or people who did not seem to be like other people, autistic children amongst them. It's the story of love and friendship, of how people from different culture and backgrounds can come together, especially when they are under threat."

And from the publisher - Ann-Janine Murtagh, Executive publisher, Harper Collins Children's Books:

"Flamingo Boy has been written by an author at the very height of his powers. The emotional intensity and energy of the writing is breath-taking. It is a beautiful book, rich in heart and strong in spirit that will appeal to readers young and old. This is a landmark novel from one of the greatest storytellers of our time and I am immensely proud to publish it on the HarperCollins list."

Synopsis

Flamingo Boy by Michael Morpurgo

A stunning new classic from master storyteller Michael Morpurgo for readers of 9+, in the vein of Private Peaceful and The Butterfly Lion.

This is a landmark new novel form the nation's favourite storyteller, set in the unique landscape of the Camargue in the South of France during WW2. There, a young autistic boy lives on his parents' farm among the salt flats, and the flamingos that live there. There are lots of things he doesn't understand: but he does know how to heal animals. He loves routine, and music too: and every week he goes to market with his mother, to ride his special horse on the town carousel. But then the Germans come, with their guns, and take the town. A soldier shoots a flamingo from the sky, and it falls to earth terribly injured. And even worse is to come: the carousel is damaged, the horses broken. For this vulnerable boy, everything is falling apart.

Only there's a kind sergeant among the Germans - a man with a young boy of his own at home, a man who trained as a carpenter. Between them, perhaps boy and man can mend what has been broken - and maybe even the whole town...

Reviews

Please invite this wonderful story in, you won't regret it. History is rarely more movingly alive. Morris Gleitzman

Praise for Michael Morpurgo:

Michael Morpurgo writes brilliantly about war and animals, conveying the big emotions without preaching. Guardian

Champagne quality over a wide range of subjects. Daily Telegraph

There are few children's writers as compelling as Michael Morpurgo. Daily Express

Morpurgo, as always, is subtle and skilful, and incorporates social and moral issues into his writing without being self-righteous or detracting from the quality of the narrative Elizabeth Reilly, British Council

The former children's laureate has the happy knack of speaking to both child and adult readers. Guardian

About the Author

Michael Morpurgo

Winner of J M Barrie Award 2016

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.org

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.

In November 2016 Michael Morpurgo won the J M Barrie Award for his contribution to children’s literature. This award is given every year by Action for Children’s Arts to a “children’s arts practitioner” whose lifetime’s work has delighted children and will stand the test of time.

David Wood, chair of Action for Children’s Arts, said Morpurgo is “one of our greatest storytellers”.
“Michael Morpurgo has thrilled and delighted huge numbers of young readers since becoming a children’s author in the early 1970s," Wood said. "Action for Children’s Arts is delighted to recognise Michael’s outstanding contribution by presenting him with the J M Barrie Award 2016. His work will undoubtedly, like Peter Pan, stand the test of time, making him a truly worthy recipient of this award."

Morpurgo added: “Storymakers and storytellers like Barrie, and like all the previous winners of this award, have given us the hope and faith children need, we need, to keep flying, have sustained us through dark and troubled times, have banished doubt. To touch the lives of children, to witness their listening and reading silence, is reward enough in itself. This is simply the icing on the cake.”

..............................................

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

Format

Hardback
288 pages

Author

Michael Morpurgo
More books by Michael Morpurgo

Author's Website

www.michaelmorpurgo.com/

Author's Facebook Latest

Publisher

HarperCollins an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

Publication date

8th March 2018

ISBN

9780008134631

Categories


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