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Michael Morpurgo

UK (1943 - )

Michael Morpurgo, author of more than fifty books, has an unparalleled reputation in the world of children's books. 'Wombat Goes Walkabout' (Collins) was shortlisted for the 1999 Whitbread Awards. 'The Butterfly Lion' (Collins) won the 1996 Smarties Book Prize and the Writers' Guild Children's Book Award 1996. It was shortlisted for the Young Telegraph / Fully Booked Children's Paperback of the Year Award 1996 and The Children's Book Award 1996. 'The Dancing Bear' (Collins) was shortlisted for the Writers Guild Children's Book Award 1994 and the Young Telegraph Children's Paperback of the Year Award 1994. He won the 1995 Whitbread Children's Book Award for 'Wreck Of The Zanzibar' (Reed).

Michael Morpurgo is, in his own words, "oldish, married with three children, and a grandfather six times over." He hasn't always been like that, though. When he was young he went to school in London, Sussex and Canterbury (one at least of which was horrible enough to inspire him to describe obliquely in 'The Butterfly Lion' ). After school he went on to university in London, followed by a step in the teaching profession and a job in a primary school in Kent.

Twenty five years ago Michael Morpurgo and his wife, Clare, started the charity Farms For City Children. They now have three farms - Nethercott in Devon, Treginnis in Wales and Wick in Gloucestershire, where children from towns and cities could come and be farmers. "As a teacher I realised many children had little real contact with the world around them - to them the television was real. I wanted them to experience life at first hand." Michael's first picture book for Collins, 'Sam's Duck', is about the first farm and is a touching story about the magic and harsh realities of rural life. The book, beautifully illustrated by the highly regarded and exceptionally talented artist Keith Bowen, was described by the Sunday Times as 'a classic as soon as it came off the presses.'

Living in Devon, listening to Mozart, and working with children have provided most of the stimulae Michael needs to discover and write his stories. He spends about half his life mucking out sheds with the children, feeding sheep or milking cows; the other half he spends dreaming up and writing stories. "For me, the greater part of writing is daydreaming, dreaming the dream of my story until it hatches out - the writing down of it I always find hard. But I love finishing it, then holding the book in my hand and sharing my dream with my readers."

Michael hopes to continue writing fresh stories, as well as staying healthy, keeping his family happy, and developing 'Farms For City Children' so that thousands more children can benefit.
War Horse
1. War Horse (1982)
2. Farm Boy (1997)

Long Way Home (1975)
Friend or Foe (1977)
Nine Lives of Montezuma (1980)
Miss Wirtles Revenge (1981)
Twist of Gold (1983)
Little Foxes (1984)
Why the Whales Came (1985)
Tom's Sausage Lion (1986)
King of the Cloud Forests (1987)
Mossop's Last Chance (1988)
My Friend Walter (1988)
Mr. Nobody's Eyes (1989)
Waiting for Anya (1990)
The Sandman and the Turtles (1991)
The War of Jenkins' Ear (1993)
The Dancing Bear (1994)
Arthur, High King of Britain (1994)
The Wreck of the Zanzibar (1995)
The Butterfly Lion (1996)
The Ghost of Grania O'Malley (1996)
Robin of Sherwood (1996)
Gullivers Travels (1997)
Arthur, High King of Britain - Excalibur (1998)
Camelot: The Last Days (1998)
Red Eyes at Night (1998)
Escape from Shangri-La (1998)
Wartman (1998)
Joan of Arc (1998)
Kensuke's Kingdom (1999)
Black Queen (2000)
Dear Olly (2000)
Billy the Kid (2000)
Out of the Ashes (2001)
Toro! Toro! (2001)
The Last Wolf (2002)
The Sleeping Sword (2002)
Mr Skip (2002)
Cool! (2002)
Private Peaceful (2003)
Cool as a Cucumber (2003)
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (2004)
The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips (2005)
I Believe in Unicorns (2005)
Born to Run (2006)
     aka Best Mates
Alone on a Wide Wide Sea (2006)
Beowulf (2006)
The Mozart Question (2007)
Kaspar: Prince of Cats (2008)
     aka The Titanic Cat
Running Wild (2009)
Not Bad for a Bad Lad (2010)
An Elephant in the Garden (2010)
Shadow (2010)
Little Manfred (2011)
Outlaw: The Story of Robin Hood (2012)
Sparrow: The True Story of Joan of Arc (2012)
A Medal for Leroy (2012)
Pinocchio (2013)
Listen to the Moon (2014)
Clare and Her Captain (2015)
Eagle in the Snow (2015)


It Never Rained (1974)
All Around the Year (poems) (1979) (with Ted Hughes)
The White Horse of Zennor: Other Stories from below the Eagle's Nest (1982)
Michael Morpurgo Pack (1994)
Stories from Mudpuddle Farm: Martians At Mudpuddle Farm, And Pigs Might Fly, Jigger's Day Off (1994) (with Shoo Rayner)
Muck and Magic: A Collection of Farm Stories (1995)
Simply the Best (1996) (with Joan Aiken, Jonathan Allen, Sheila Lavelle, Jan Mark, Robert Swindells, Colin Thompson and Jacqueline Wilson)
Michael Morpurgo Stories (2000)
From Hereabout Hill: A Collection of Short Stories (2000)
More Muck and Magic: Stories from the Countryside (2001)
Kids' Night In: Warchild (2003) (with Eoin Colfer, Annie Dalton, Garth Nix, Darren Shan and Jacqueline Wilson)
Singing for Mrs Pettigrew: A Story-maker's Journey (2006)
Three for Tea: Tasty Tales for You And Me (2006) (with Anne Fine and Jacqueline Wilson)
Animal Tales: Three Stories in One (2008)
Free?: Stories Celebrating Human Rights (2009) (with David Almond, Ibtisam Barakat, Malorie Blackman, Theresa Breslin, Eoin Colfer, Roddy Doyle, Ursula Dubosarsky, Jamila Gavin, Patricia McCormick, Margaret Mahy, Sarah Mussi, Meja Mwangi and Rita Williams-Garcia)
Ox-Tales:Water (2009) (with William Boyd, Michel Faber, Giles Foden, Esther Freud, Zoë Heller, Heri Kunzu, David Park and Vikram Seth)
Magic Beans: A Handful of Fairytales from the Storybag (2011) (with Adèle Geras, Philip Pullman and Jacqueline Wilson)
Snow Tales: Rainbow Bear / Little Albatross (2012)
Michael Morpurgo Christmas Stories (2012)
Stories of War (2013)
Island Tales (2013)
Of Lions and Unicorns: Lifetime of Tales from the Master Storyteller (2013)
Christmas Stories (2015)

Picture Books
Chapter Books
Michael Morpurgo recommends
The Closing March
The Closing March (1997)
Lynne Markham
"A cornet call of hope. A book that chokes you throughout, and not just on coal dust."
A Little Piece of Ground
A Little Piece of Ground (2003)
Elizabeth Laird
"A Little Piece of Ground is an exciting, enlightening and important story that brings to life the reality of events reported daily in the news, and will help young readers understand more about one of the worst conflicts affecting our world today. A fine book, and a daring book."
Against the Tide
Against the Tide (2005)
(Against the Tide)
Theresa Tomlinson
"Utterly absorbing."
Montmorency's Revenge: Madman. Actor, Arsonist?
Montmorency's Revenge: Madman. Actor, Arsonist? (2006)
(Montmorency, book 4)
Eleanor Updale
"Thrills from first page to last."
Dog Lost
Dog Lost (2008)
Ingrid Lee
"A tough book, a tender book, and one I shan't forget."

My Name is Mina (2010)
David Almond
"David Almond is a fine writer, one of the very finest we have. He is simply incapable of writing a bad sentence."

Wild Wings (2011)
Gill Lewis
"Here's a rare thing, a novel, and a first novel too, that opens your eyes, touches your heart, and is so engaging it almost turns the pages for you."

Life, Above All (2011)
Allan Stratton
"An extraordinary literary achievement."

An Inventory of Heaven (2012)
Jane Feaver
"Jane Feaver is a supremely compelling chronicler of rural isolation."

Loyal Creatures (2014)
Morris Gleitzman
"One of the very best novels I have read."

A Song for Ella Grey (2014)
David Almond
"David Almond is a very special writer."

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