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."
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...
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
|Publication date:||8th March 2018|
|Publisher:||HarperCollins an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers|
|Suitable for:||11+ readers, 9+ readers|
|Recommendations:||Books of the Month, eBooks|
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’...More About Michael Morpurgo