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Flamingo Boy

Written by Michael Morpurgo

Adventure Stories Featured Books for 11+ readers Featured Books for 9+ readers General Fiction Historical Fiction

LoveReading View on Flamingo Boy

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

Other Info

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."

Flamingo Boy Synopsis

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 from 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...

Flamingo Boy Press 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

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780008134655
Publication date: 04/12/2019
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9780008134631
Publication date: 08/03/2018
Publisher: HarperCollins an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780008134655
Publication date: 4th December 2019
Author: Michael Morpurgo
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 288 pages
Suitable for: 11+ readers, 9+ readers
Genres: Adventure Stories, General Fiction, Historical Fiction

About Michael Morpurgo

Michael Morpurgo, began writing stories in the early '70's, in response to the children in his class at the primary school where he taught in Kent.  One of the UK’s best-loved authors and storytellers, Michael was appointed Children’s Laureate in 2003, a post he helped to set up with Ted Hughes in 1999. He was awarded an OBE in 2007 and a Knighthood in the New Year’s Honours in 2018 for services to literature and charity. He has written over 150 books, including The Butterfly Lion, Kensuke’s Kingdom, Why the Whales Came, The Mozart Question, ...

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