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Michael Morpurgo

Born: United Kingdom

Michael Morpurgo

Michael Morpurgo has written over 100 books. He is a three-time winner of the Prix Sorcière in France and has twice won the Red House Children's Book Award in England. In addition, has won the Whitbread Award, the Smarties Prize, and has been short-listed for the Carnegie Medal. He has also been named the 2003-2005 Children's Laureate, an award he helped to establish with the late Poet Laureate Ted Hughes to reward a lifetime contribution to children's literature and highlight the importance of the role of children's books. He has had a lifetime of involvement with children, as a teacher, as a father and grandfather and as the founder with his wife of "Farms for City Children', a charity that enables city kids to come and share his passionate love for the countryside in general and animals in particular.

Born in 1943, he attended schools in London, Sussex and Canterbury. He went on to London University to study English and French, followed by a stint in the teaching profession and a job at a primary school in Kent. It was there that he discovered what he wanted to do. "We had to read the children a story every day and my lot were bored by the book I was reading. I decided I had to do something and told them the kind of story I used to tell my kids - it was like a soap opera, and they focused on it. I could see there was magic in it for them, and realized there was magic in it for me."

Kensuke's Kingdom won the Children's Book Award, an award judged by over 20,000 children in England. In 2003, Scholastic Press published it in the United States. Publishers Weekly called it "A prizewinning import: sensitive, perceptive, and well-told."

Morpurgo followed with Private Peaceful, The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips, and War Horse. In a starred review, Booklist called Private Peaceful "the terse and beautiful narrative of a young English soldier is as compelling about the world left behind as about the horrific daily details of trench warfare..." It won The Los Angeles Times Book Award for Young Adult Fiction. It was also a choice on BBC Radio's A Good Read program and was turned into a concert piece by an English acappella trio. The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips won the Sheffield Children's Book Award in 2006. Originally published in 1983, War Horse was a runner up for the Whitbread Award

Michael Morpurgo lives in Devon, England with his wife, Clare. For more information, please visit www.michaelmorpurgo.com