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Michael Morpurgo

As an adult

Born in 1943 in St Albans, Hertfordshire, Michael was evacuated to Cumberland during the last years of the war, later moving to Essex. After university and a brief spell in the army, Michael worked as a teacher for ten years, before leaving to set up 'Farms for City Children' with his wife Clare. The charity, which now runs three farms, aims to provide children from inner city areas with experience of the countryside. In 1999 the couple were awarded MBEs in recognition of their services to youth. Michael now lives on a farm in Devon, and in his own words, describes himself as "oldish, married with three children, and a grandfather six times over."

As an artist

Michael Morpurgo is one of the greatest storytellers for children writing today and has written over one hundred books, including The Wreck of the Zanzibar, The Butterfly Lion, Kensuke's Kingdom and Private Peaceful, all of which have won major literary awards including the Smarties Book Prize, the Whitbread Award, the Writer's Guild Award and the Children's Book Award. From 2003-2005, Michael was the Children's Laureate, a role designed to reward a lifetime's contribution to children's literature and to highlight the importance of children's books. In 2006, he was also awarded an OBE, in recognition of his services to literature.

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