If you’ve read “War Horse”, “Private Peaceful”, or “Kensuke’s Kingdom,” you probably know a bit about Michael Morpurgo. He’s a prolific writer who has produced many interesting books that have captured the attention of children over the years and taught them wonderful lessons on survival and appreciating nature. To know more about this talented author, check out the facts below.
1. His Parents Were Both Actors.
Morpurgo was born on October 5, 1943 in St. Albans, Hertfordshire, in the UK. His biological father was actor Tony Van Bridge, and his mother Kippe Cammaerts also worked as an actress. In 1946, Kippe married Jack Morpurgo, who was a professor at the University of Leeds and raised young Michael as his own son.
2. He Used To Be a Teacher.
Morpurgo studied French and English at King’s College London and went on to become a primary school teacher in Kent after graduation. During this time, he discovered that he had a talent for storytelling and began to hone this skill. This eventually led him to begin writing children’s books.
3. He Has Three Children.
Morpurgo married Clare Lane, who was the daughter of the founder of Penguin Books, Sir Allen Lane. They have two sons, Sebastian and Horatio, and a daughter, Rosalind, and they now have several grandchildren.
4. He Has Founded a Charity.
Michael and Clare set up a charity called “Farms for City Children” in 1976. Through their charity, children who live in inner city areas have the chance to spend a week at a farm in the countryside, take part in farm work, enjoy the feeling of being in the outdoors.
The charity has helped 85,000 children since it was founded, and it now has three farms throughout the UK. Because of their dedication to help the British youth, Michael and Clare were appointed as Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 1999.
5. His Works Have Been Adapted Into Plays, Movies, And TV Shows.
Morpurgo’s works became so popular and well-loved that they have been adapted into various media. “War Horse”, for instance, was turned into a radio broadcast and eventually into a play, which was shown in the National Theatre in London and later made its way into the West End and even Broadway. It also became a movie in 2011, with award-winning director Steven Spielberg at the helm.
“Gentle Giant,” another story by Morpurgo, was adapted as an opera and presented at the Royal Opera House. “Royal Bear” had a musical adaptation and was later turned into a ballet.
6. He Has Received Numerous Awards.
Morpurgo was promoted from being an MBE to an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) because of his contributions to literature. He also became the British Children’s Literature Laureate from 2003 to 2005. Over the years, Morpurgo received many other awards, including the Prix Sorcières, Whitbread Children’s Book Award, and California Young Reader Medal.
Michael Morpurgo has made his mark in British literature, and he continues to inspire lots of children around the world with his magical and wonderfully told stories.