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Michael Morpurgo Books

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    The Puffin Keeper by Michael Morpurgo

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    It was Benjamin Postlethwaite's job all his long life to make sure the light shone brightly high up in the lighthouse on Puffin Island. Not once in...

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    Original price £7.99
    Original price £7.99 - Original price £7.99
    Original price £7.99
    Current price £7.19
    £7.19 - £7.19
    Current price £7.19
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Michael Morpurgo is one of Britain’s most beloved children’s authors. He’s written over a hundred books in his nearly fifty-year career, including Private Peaceful and Kensuke’s Kingdom. However, he’s best known for the novel War Horse, which was adapted into a critically acclaimed stage play, and a blockbuster film by Steven Spielberg. He co-created the Children’s Laureate position with then-Poet Laureate Ted Hughes and became the third to hold it, from 2003 to 2005.


Michael Bridge was born in 1943 in St Albans, the child of two actors. While his father was away fighting in World War II, his mother met Jack Morpurgo. His parents divorced, his mother remarried, and he and his brother took on Jack’s last name. The family lived in London and Essex, and Morpugo was sent away to school in Sussex and Canterbury. He went to army training in Sandhurst on his stepfather’s insistence but left after nine months. 

Morpurgo married Clare, daughter of the founder of Penguin Books, Sir Alan Lane, aged 19, with whom he had three children. Shortly after marriage, he studied English, French and Philosophy at King’s College London. He then became a primary school teacher in Canterbury. He discovered his love of storytelling when he made up tales for his students, and his first book was published in 1974.

The couple established the charity Farms for City Children in 1976, which gives inner-city children an experience of the countryside. They moved to Devon to set it up, where they still live. Over 90,000 children have visited the three farms the charity now runs at. Morpurgo views Farms for City Children as one of the greatest achievements in his life. It’s inspired many of his books, including War Horse.

Best-Known Books

Private Peaceful follows the memories of soldier Tommo, who was stationed in France during World War I. It starts with his early childhood, his father’s death, his friendship with his brother Charlie, and his falling in love with his school friend Molly. It then moves to the trenches, as Tommo lies about his age to join his brother on the front line. It was adapted into a play, a film, and a one-man show by Simon Reade. It also inspired a series of concerts of the same name.

Kensuke’s Kingdom is the story of Michael and his family, who decide to sail around the world after being made redundant. Michael is washed overboard with his dog Stella, and find themselves stranded on a small island. They finally meet Kensuke, the mysterious benefactor who’s been leaving food and fresh water at their cave shelter. Slowly, Michael and Kensuke bond, and conversation turns to the world outside the island. Kensuke’s Kingdom is currently being adapted into an animated film by the producers behind the adaptation of Ethel & Ernest by Raymond Briggs. 

The Butterfly Lion has just celebrated its 25th anniversary. It’s the story of South African boy Bertie, who has to send his orphaned lion cub away to the circus when he is sent to boarding school in England. He becomes friends with a girl called Millie, and the story follows their lives through the Great War, to their search for the lion.
At Books2Door, we stock a variety of Michael Morpurgo’s books, including some great value box sets and collections. For other Children’s Laureates, see our Quentin Blake, Julia Donaldson, and Jacqueline Wilson collections.

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