Reader Reviewed The Castle in the Field by Michael Morpurgo

The Castle in the Field

Written by Michael Morpurgo
Illustrated by Faye Hanson
Part of the Little Gems Series

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

One of our Dyslexia Friendly Books of the Year 2013 - Interest Age 5-8 A wonderful adventure which captures the importance of children finding a place of their own – and having secrets! When three children shelter in the rain in a pill-box abandoned after World War Two they decide to take it over as a secret camp. It belongs to the local farmer and they have to be very careful to keep right out of his way! Setting it up, enjoying their own space and not getting caught provide all the excitement they need but things get almost too dangerous when other boys discover their secret and try to spoil it.

Particularly suitable for 5-8s with a reading age of 6.

Michael Morpurgo adapted The Castle in the Field especially for the Little Gems series from his first collections of stories to be published called It Never Rained. Have a look at his other Little Gem title, Snug.

reader reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for The Castle in the Field a small number of children were lucky enough to be invited to review this title. Here's a taster....'I would recommend this story to other children around my age who find reading tricky.' - Toby Goodall.

Scroll down to read the full review...


The Castle in the Field by Michael Morpurgo

Chris, Lisa and Tom spend their days in their secret hide-out in the Castle, an old WWII pill-box. But the Castle is on Old Rafferty's land, and he hates kids. They find themselves in big trouble when some local lads lock them in and there is no one around for miles...

About the Little Gems series: Little Gems are in a gorgeous new chunky format, with high-spec production including coloured endpapers and jacketed flaps with activities. Additional features include high quality cream paper, Barrington Stoke font and illustrations on every page. They are perfect for 5-8's. These quality stories promote good reading practice for all newly independent readers.


Kids love to read and a small number of children were lucky enough to be invited to review The Castle in the Field. The review below was written by Toby Goodall, age 8.

I would recommend this story to other children around my age who find reading tricky. Younger children who are good readers would also find this story brilliant. I would like to read some more Little Gems books.

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

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, ( 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


96 pages


Michael Morpurgo
More books by Michael Morpurgo

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Barrington Stoke Ltd

Publication date

15th September 2013




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