Michael Morpurgo 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 2011, voted for by children. Pinocchio by Michael Morpurgo, illustrated by Emma Chichester-Clark will be published in September 2013. To celebrate his 70th birthday, Harper Collins will publish Of Lions and Unicorns, a collection of short stories and extracts from Michael’s favourite books.
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. 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 has now moved to New York where it has been awarded five Tony Awards. The film of War Horse by Steven Spielberg released in January 2012.
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.co.uk
Michael Morpurgo lives in Devon with his wife Clare. He has three children and seven grandchildren.
Michael Morpurgo is our Author of the Month for November, and you can see all his books and catch any you may have missed out on, here