Michael Morpurgo

Michael Morpurgo is an English author who writes brilliant books, mostly for kids aged from about ten years up.

His most famous book is 'War Horse' which has been made into a play and now a movie.

I had never heard of Michael Morpurgo or any of his books until my nephew, Riley, introduced me to them on a family holiday back in 2011.

Riley was about to turn twelve at the time and he'd read quite a few of Michael's books so I asked him about them and he very kindly wrote brief reviews of his favourite ones for me.


michael morpurgoMichael Morpurgo

Michael's written over 100 books for children, from picture books for younger children to novels aimed at young teenagers.

On this page, I'll review the books for older children that my nephew recommended and which I then went on to read myself.

If you'd like to find out about other Michael Morpurgo books, have a look at his website.


About Michael Morpurgo

Michael Morpurgo was born in 1943 and went to schools in London, Sussex and Canterbury. He studied English and French at London University and then worked as a teacher at a primary school in Kent.

While he was teaching, Michael began telling his students the stories he'd made up for his own children.

His students loved the stories and Michael loved telling them and it was then that he decided that he wanted to write stories for children.

Michael is married to Clare and they live in Devon in the UK. They have three children and six grandchildren.

In 1976 Michael and Clare started a charity which provides city children with a week working on farms in the country. Over 50,000 children from cities and towns throughout the UK have now spent a week of their lives living and working on one of the charity's three farms.

These days Michael spends about half his time working on the farms with kids and half writing his books. 


Michael Morpurgo Books

Micahel has written dozens of books for children so here I'm reviewing only a selection of them.

These are the most popular ones which are especially great reads for 10-14 year olds.


shadow, michael morpurgo

Aman and his mother are living in a cave in war-torn Afghanistan when a sick, injured dog appears. Aman is wary at first but the dog becomes his constant companion after he nurses him back to health.

As life in Afghanistan becomes more dangerous, Aman, his mother and Shadow embark on a treacherous journey from war-torn Afghanistan to the safely of a relative's home in Manchester, England. 

This is a great story of courage, love and hope which introduces readers to the experiences of children living in war-torn countries and the fears and dangers they face.

It also offers a great insight into the lives of refugees who must leave their homes in an effort to find a safe place to live.


This book introduces readers to World War I and the horrors of trench warfare via the experiences of Joey, a beautiful bay-red foal with a distinctive cross on his nose.

In 1914 Joey is sold to the army and thrust into the middle of the war on the Western Front, leaving Albert, the farmer's son whom he loves dearly.

With his officer, Joey witnesses the horror of the battles in France but his courage touches the soldiers around him and he is able to find warmth and hope.


This book is set in France during World War II and tells the story of Jo, a young boy involves who finds out that Jewish children are being smuggled away from the Nazis over the mountains near his village.  

When German soldiers start patrolling the mountains, Jo realises the children are trapped and need help to escape.

This is a story of courage and compassion and is a great introduction to World War II.


This story about the First World War is told in the voice of a young soldier, Private Tommo Peaceful.

The story follows 24 hours in his life at the front as he remembers his life at home in the village where he grew up and his relationship with his brothers, Charlie and Joe.

This is a moving and engrossing story which, through the course of the story, explains a lot about the war and the horrors of the trenches.

It's suitable for ages 10 and up, including adults. I loved it!


This is the story of Lizzie and her mother and brother who escaped from Dresden after it was bombed by the allies in World War II.

Lizzie's mother had worked at the zoo and took an elephant home to save her from being destroyed when the zoo was bombed. When the family has to leave their home, they take the elephant with them as they walk to safety.

The story is told by Lizzie as a very old woman to a little boy and his mother.


This is the story of a boy called George who goes from one foster family to another, none of whom really want him.

When he ends up at yet another foster home one summer, George makes up his mind to run away, back to the children's home, but changes his mind when he begins to feel at ease with Tom Dyer and his sister Storme.

This is essentially a book about orphans, family, love and finding a place to call home.


This book is the sequel to 'War Horse' in which Joey was sent away from the farm to be a war horse in WWI, leaving his beloved owner, Albert, behind.

Fast forward fifty years and Albert is telling his grandson Joey's story and the story of how he - Albert - went to find him. But he also tells his grandson a 'shameful secret' which he has held for years.

This story is set in Devon (where Michael Morpurgo lives) and lovingly captures the relationships and the spirit of rural life.


Michael Morpurgo writes a lot of stories set during World War II and this is another one.

It's about two boys called David and Tucky who have been evacuated from London and are living in the country when one night the skyline is lit up with gun flashes and the distant sound of bombing brings the war back to them.

When a German bomber crashes, the boys feel they should hate the airmen inside.

But then one of them saves David's life.


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