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Michael Morpurgo

Wednesday, 04 June 2003

Michael Morpurgo is the current Children's Laureate. He was born in St. Albans in Hertfordshire in 1943. He went to school in London, Sussex and Canterbury, his favourite subjects were rugby and cricket and geography.

Michael went on to study at university in London before becoming a teacher for about ten years. He now lives with his wife, Clare, in Devon and is the father of three children and has four grandchildren.

He is probabky one  of the best-known writers for children around today and has published over 90 books and several screenplays translated into 26 languages. The Butterfly Lion, The Wreck of Zanzibar, Sam's Duck and The War Horse, to name but a few, have all win acclaim across the world.

Whilst teaching he realised that many of his pupils had very little experience of animals other than what what they see on teevision, this gave Michael and his wife the idea of setting up Farms for City Children. They moved onto Devon over thirty years ago to realise this ideas and now run three, onw in Nethercott in Devon, Treginnis in Wales and Wick in Gloucestershire, with over 2000 children a year staying for a week as 'farmers'.

Farms for City Children is a registered charity with the Princess Royal as its patron. In 1999 Michael was awarded an MBE with his wife Clare for their charitable work with Farms for City Children in the Queen's birthday list for services to youth.

Michael has won numerous awards world-wide including The Whitbread Children's Book of the Year, The Writer's Guild Award, The Smarties Prize, The Children's Book of the Year Award, The Cerde D'or and The Prix Sorciere in France, The Best Book of the Year (A.L.A.) in the USA and The Silver Pencil in Holland.

Two of Michael's books have made it onto screen. Why the Whales Came was made into a film starring Helen Mirren and Out of the Ashes was adapted for television. he was named as the Children's Laureate in May 2003.