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Michael Morpurgo - Author

About the Author

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.”

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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.

Featured books by Michael Morpurgo

In the Mouth of the Wolf

In the Mouth of the Wolf

7+ readers 9+ readers

Author: Michael Morpurgo Format: Hardback Release Date: 03/05/2018

Francis and Pieter are brothers. As shadow of one war lingers, and the rumbles of another approach, the brothers argue. Francis is a fierce pacifist, while Pieter signs up to fight. What happens next will change the course of Francis's life forever . . . and throw him into the mouth of the wolf.

ebook of the month
Lucky Button

Lucky Button

9+ readers 11+ readers

Author: Michael Morpurgo Format: Hardback Release Date: 02/11/2017

A moving historical story inspired by the Foundling Museum, written by acclaimed children's author Michael Morpurgo and illustrated by Michael Foreman. From award-winning master storyteller Michael Morpurgo, author of the acclaimed War Horse, comes a moving historical story inspired by the Foundling Museum. A lonely boy struggles to cope with school bullies and caring for his mother, until a mysterious encounter reveals life in the Foundling Hospital in the eighteenth century and unravels a touching tale about the power of music. Beautifully illustrated by Kate Greenaway Medal-winning illustrator Michael Foreman.

ebook of the month
Coming Home

Coming Home

9+ readers

Author: Michael Morpurgo Format: Paperback Release Date: 14/11/2016

A plucky little robin sets out on an epic journey. Through dark forests, driving rain, clapping thunder and flashing lightning. Across frozen wastes, huge mountains and stormy seas he flies. And all the while he's dreaming of home. Of her. But will he ever get there? Find out in this wonderfully lyrical Christmas story from the brilliant Michael Morpurgo, with stunning illustrations by Kerry Hyndman.

Only Remembered

Only Remembered

13+ readers YA readers

Author: Michael Morpurgo Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/10/2016

Poems, short stories, personal letters, newspaper articles, scripts, photographs and paintings are just some of the elements of this astonishing collection, with cover and artwork by renowned illustrator, Ian Beck. Among the many contributors are Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall, Sir Andrew Motion, Miranda Hart, Dame Jacqueline Wilson, Anthony Horowitz, Eoin Colfer, Antony Beevor, Emma Thompson, David Almond, Dr Rowan Williams, Richard Curtis, Joanna Lumley, Raymond Briggs, Shami Chakrabarti and Sir Tony Robinson. Royalties from the publication will be spilt between the Royal British Legion and projects for soldiers' children and families at SSAFA.

ebook of the month
Island Tales

Island Tales

7+ readers

Author: Michael Morpurgo Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/07/2013

A bind-up of War Horse author Michael Morpurgo's classic stories about the Isles of Scilly, this book collects The Wreck of the Zanzibar, and Why the Whales Came.

Other books by Michael Morpurgo

Boy Giant Son of Gulliver

Boy Giant Son of Gulliver

Author: Michael Morpurgo Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 28/05/2020

A stunning new story of hope, humanity and high-seas adventure for children and adults everywhere from Sir Michael Morpurgo, the nation's favourite storyteller and multi-million copy bestselling author of WAR HORSE. We were the truth of our own story. Me, and the two tiny people on my shoulder, in the middle of the sea... War has forced Omar and his mother to leave their home in Afghanistan and venture across the sea to Europe. When their boat sinks, and Omar finds himself alone, with no hope of rescue, it seems as if his story has come to an end. But it is only just beginning. Because in the end, a little hope makes a big difference... A thrilling adventure inspired by the classic story of Gulliver's Travels, this is also a gripping modern narrative of rescue and refuge, from a writer at the height of his powers. A book about breaking down walls, at a time when many are trying to build them. And a timeless reminder of humanity's infinite capacity for good... even when those humans are very small indeed.

The Pied Piper of Hamelin

The Pied Piper of Hamelin

Author: Michael Morpurgo Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 20/05/2020

A beautiful edition of this classic retelling by master storyteller Michael Morpurgo, with glorious illustrations by Emma Chichester Clark. In the town of Hamelin, the rich and greedy live like kings and queens while the poor and sick scavenge rubbish tips for scraps. A lame orphan boy tells the classic tale of how a plague of rats takes over the town and how a fantastic piper offers to rid Hamelin of its rats for a single gold coin, then lures away the town's children when the greedy mayor breaks his word. Masterfully weaving contemporary social and environmental themes into a gripping tale, and celebrating it with breath-taking illustrations, former British Children's Laureate Michael Morpurgo and illustrator Emma Chichester Clark team up to create a compelling new take on this timeless story.

The Giant's Necklace

The Giant's Necklace

Author: Michael Morpurgo Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 22/04/2020

A thrilling ghost story that revisits Cornwall's industrial past. Short-story-telling at its very best, from the UK's most beloved writer for children. A tense and thrilling ghost story from the internationally acclaimed author of War Horse. It all began with a necklace, made of glistening pink cowrie shells. A long, long necklace that had taken Cherry days - weeks - of careful, painstaking work. It was nearly complete, and Cherry was determined it would be the longest necklace she had ever made; that it would be fit for a giant! But the end of the holidays had arrived. You've only got today, Cherry, said her mother. Just today, that's all. Cherry didn't mind, a day would be enough - she only needed a few more shells. So, amidst the taunts of her older brothers, she set out to search for them. Then the clouds grew dark and the waves grew large, and as the storm blew in, Cherry realized, to her horror, that she was cut off from the shore. From then on, events began to take a decidedly dark turn. One from which there was no turning back

War Stories

War Stories

Author: Michael Morpurgo Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 02/04/2020

Specially commissioned by Michael Morpurgo to mark the 60th anniversary of VE day, this deeply moving collection features stories of war from the most well-loved voices in children's literature, including Michelle Magorian, Celia Rees, George Layton, Robert Westall, Joan Aiken, Eva Ibbotson, Geraldine McCaughrean and other top children's authors. From World War II to the Crusades, 1970s Beirut to the modern-day Middle East, these vivid stories explore wars throughout history. They examine not only the immediate consequences of war, but also what happens after the fighting is over. Waiting for Peace: War Stories was originally published as War: Stories of Conflict.

Toto The Dog-Gone Amazing Story of the Wizard of Oz

Toto The Dog-Gone Amazing Story of the Wizard of Oz

Author: Michael Morpurgo Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/02/2020

From master storyteller MICHAEL MORPURGO, and illustrated by the award-winning EMMA CHICHESTER CLARK, comes a surprising, charming and uplifting twist on The Wizard of Oz, told by a very special and unforgettable character: Dorothy's pet dog, Toto. A perfect, collectible gift for all children (and children at heart). I was there, Papa Toto said, and those magic words sent shivers down my spine. It was going to be the Wizard story. Dorothy and me were both there. We were all silent, snuggled up together, waiting, waiting. Then Papa Toto began... When a twister descends on their Kansas farm, Toto and his owner Dorothy hide in the house - only to be plucked into the air and whisked away! Coming down with a crash in the mysterious land of Oz, the pair meet a series of extraordinary characters: a scarecrow who believes he has no brains, a tin man without a heart, and a cowardly lion who may not be as cowardly as he thinks he is. But Toto and Dorothy are desperate to return home - after all, home is home, and home is best! So they set off with their new friends on a journey down the yellow brick road to find the only person who might be able to help them: the Wonderful Wizard of Oz. But what they find might surprise them. And on the way, all of them will learn that what they think they are missing might have been there, all along... Beautifully illustrated throughout, this is an unforgettable telling of a classic story, and a must for every bookshelf.

The Snowman Inspired by the original story by Raymond Briggs

The Snowman Inspired by the original story by Raymond Briggs

Author: Michael Morpurgo Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/10/2019

Beloved children's author Michael Morpurgo has re-imagined Raymond Briggs' classic The Snowman for a new generation of readers. One December morning, James is thrilled to wake up to see snow falling. He spends the whole day making his perfect snowman; he has coal eyes, an old green hat and scarf and a tangerine nose... just like the snowman from his favourite story. That night, something magical happens- the Snowman comes to life! He and James take to the skies on a magical adventure where they meet someone very special. Inspired by the timeless tale, Michael Morpurgo and Robin Shaw have created the perfect Christmas story for the whole family. The Snowman is the perfect festive read for ALL the family! For little ones: The Snowman board book For younger children: The Snowman classic picture book with no words For younger readers: The Snowman and Snowdog (a picture books with words

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https://www.michaelmorpurgo.com/

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