Tag: Michael Morpurgo

The top 10 best book sequels


The record-breaking success of Go Set a Watchman got all of us here at the Book People thinking about other book sequels we have enjoyed. Although the likes of the Hunger Games and Harry Potter are great, we decided these are best read in their entirety as a series, therefore we’ve gone ahead with sequels that either stand on their own or those that were a long time in the making even if they fit into a wider overarching story…

Go Set a Watchman

Published 55 years after To Kill a Mockingbird, Go Set a Watchman’s pre-orders even beat the final Harry Potter book’s record. Set 20 years after Atticus Finch defended a black man accused of a crime he didn’t commit, the book checks in on how Jean Louise ‘Scout’ Finch and her family’s lives have turned out…

Alice Through the Looking Glass

You thought that Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland were remarkable? They’re even more wonderful when she returns to this most magical of places for a second time…

Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason

Fans of romantic fiction’s favourite singleton didn’t have to wait as long as To Kill a Mockingbird fans to find out what happened to her – and it’s fair to say it wasn’t a case of finding love and living happily ever after… But Bridget’s further romantic adventures were just as hilariously heart-warming!

The Lost World

It turns out InGen wasn’t just rearing genetically modified dinosaurs on Isla Nublar… Sister island Isla Sorna was home to Site B, a jungle setting where dinosaurs were free to roam before potentially being moved to Jurassic Park. Now, with the theme park closed, the dinosaurs have been breeding and are flourishing. But chaos mathematician Ian Malcolm has concerns and finds himself battling them once again…

Little Men

What happened when the Little Women from Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel grew up? Jo Bhaer inherits the state of Plumfield school from her Aunt March and this book recounts six months in the life of the students who are studying there…


Ten years after the events of Trainspotting and Simon ‘Sick Boy’ Williamson has made his return to Edinburgh after some time in London and he has a dream – he wants to film an adult movie! He teams up with fellow exile Mark Renton to make this come true, but along the way they meet some familiar faces – the unhinged Frank Begbie and druggie Spud.

The Lord of the Rings

Many, many years (111 to be precise) after the events that unfolded in The Hobbit, Frodo Baggins, cousin and dependant of the One Ring-finding Bilbo, inherits the ring and embarks on a dangerous, life-changing journey, taking him across Middle-earth to destroy it in the flames of Mount Doom before the Dark Lord Sauron can reclaim it and regain his destructive powers.

Finding Jennifer Jones

A powerful and emotional story, fans of Looking for JJ had to wait a long ten years for their sequel from the brilliant author Anne Cassidy. To the outside world, Kate seems like a normal girl but she’s actually Jennifer Jones – and her ‘Kate’ facade is beginning to crumble…

Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator

Charlie is excited to be in charge of Willy Wonka’s famous chocolate-making factory and he’s all set to take control of it – in a great glass elevator, of course… But soon Charlie and his family hear a ‘whoosh’ sound and find themselves in a thrilling orbit around Earth – lead by the one and only Mr. Wonka!

Farm Boy

It’s over 50 years since young farm horse Joey found himself on the frontline and now Albert is an old man, ready to tell the incredible story of his life and the secret that he has been carrying the entire time… Michael Morpurgo’s sequel to War Horse is poignant, compelling and lives long in the memory.

Chris Riddell named Children’s Laureate, 2015 to 2017


Popular author and illustrator Chris Riddell has been named the Children’s Laureate for the next two years at an award ceremony in London. Taking over from Malorie Blackman, Chris will be making frequent public appearances in person and in the media to help promote and share the joy of books (reading, writing and illustrating!) with young people around the country for the next two years.

Well-known for co-writing the Edge Chronicles with Paul Stewart and a two-time winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal/three-time winner of the Nestle Smarties Book Prize, we’re sure Chris will prove to be an incredible success. His Goth Girl books were funny, quirky and clever and Ottoline and the Emperor of Absurdia remain big favourites with many children. Having worked with Neil Gaiman, Russell Brand, Quentin Blake and Michael Rosen, Chris is a highly respected figure in the book industry.

The Children’s Laureate was created by Ted Hughes and Michael Morpurgo in the late 90s and is awarded every two years to honour a ‘writer or illustrator of children’s books to celebrate outstanding achievement in their field’. Chris will take home a silver medal from the ceremony and follows in the footsteps of Quentin Blake, Anne Fine, Michael Morpurgo, Jacqueline Wilson, Michael Rosen, Anthony Browne, Julia Donaldson and Malorie Blackman.

All of us here at the Book People wish Chris all the best in his reign as Children’s Laureate.

The Book People Recommends…

At the Book People, we know there is so much choice when it comes to book buying… Although we believe you can never read too many books, we know time (and space) constraints mean that many people have to make a choice when it comes to buying books. In this blog post, we’ve put on our thinking caps and will highlight books from our hand-picked range that will be suitable for your friends, family and loved ones – whatever their taste!

Books for cooks

From the healthy recipes featured in Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s River Cottage to the more indulgent food that Jamie Oliver cooks up in Comfort Food, there’s something for every kind of foodie in our Cookery range. We also have tantalisingly tasty cookbooks from Lorraine Pascale and Tom Kerridge.

Books for bakers

Can you remember a time before the Great British Bake Off took over everyone’s autumn viewing (and baking!)? We can’t – and wouldn’t have it any other way. As well as her trademark bakes, Queen of Baking Mary Berry shows off her impeccable cookery skills in Mary Berry Cooks the Perfect, while her fellow GBBO judge Paul Hollywood focuses on the best bakes our nation has to offer in Paul Hollywood’s British Baking. Of course, we also have the official Great British Bake Off book which allows you to make up some of this year’s most memorable bakes from the GBBO tent while popular chef Rachel Allen also looks to delicious desserts in All Things Sweet.

Books for crafters

Whether you want to make your own Christmas decorations this year or dress your dog up for a trip down the catwalk, we have books for every type of hobby. From knitting to sewing head-turning projects using left-over pieces of fabric, our books can help you achieve brilliant craft projects.

Books for young adult readers

Young adult fiction is amongst the most popular book genres right now and the success of The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner and The Fault In Our Stars in cinemas shows there is no sign of it slowing down anytime soon. We have amazing young adult books from in the shape of Patrick Ness’ Chaos Walking Trilogy, Andrew Smith’s Grasshopper Jungle and Meg Wolitzer’s Belzhar.

Book collections for kids

The Book People’s collections are simply amazing. Amazing stories, amazing artwork – amazing value! We love to bring our little readers the best new books and introduce them to classic children’s books and what better way than bundling them all together for one low price? Whether you have a fiction fan who loves War Horse author Michael Morpurgo and wants to discover his other novels, a little one who adores Thomas the Tank Engine or just want to treat a child to a whole-load of Mr. Men or Little Miss stories, you’ll find a perfect present here!

Film and TV favourites

Have you been watching Professor Brian Cox’s latest BBC show Human Universe? We have been glued to our screens – and the book is just as fascinating… If you’ve always dreamed of being on QI and want to astound your friends with the kind of facts Stephen Fry loves to present, then 1,411 QI Facts to Knock You Sideways will keep you highly entertained – and be the perfect stocking filler for fellow QI fans! Marvel is taking over the world and the updated Marvel Encyclopedia will delight any Marvel fan with its facts about all the famous superheroes, while little fans of Iron Man, Captain America and Spider-Man will love finding out about their favourites in the 15-book Marvel Readers Collection.

Winter warmers

We’re now at the time of year when it’s just perfect to cosy up by the fireplace and snuggle up with a good book… You can trust the Book People when it comes to buying fiction books of the highest standard. The Miniaturist  is a compelling story about the joys of love and horrors of obsession, while Philippa Gregory’s The King’s Curse  is her latest bestseller. People who like historical fiction will also enjoy our six-book collection from Man Booker winner Hilary Mantel. And if you still want more contemporary fiction, you can enjoy working your way through the Man Booker 2014 Shortlist. For some contemporary stories you may have seen in the cinema, you can’t go wrong with our Blockbuster Collection – for £4.99 you can read the books that inspired Philomena, The Lovely Bones and The Silver Linings Playbook.

We also have some great novels in our 10-book Winter Warmer Collection, which includes Elizabeth Jane Howard’s The Light Years, Emma Donoghue’s Room and Catherine Dunne’s Set in Stone.

Roald Dahl named teachers’ favourite children’s author

Roald Dahl, the man behind the classic stories Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Twits and The BFG, has been named primary school teachers’ favourite children’s author. A survey of more than 800 teachers, taken by education resources website Teachit Primary, found that five of his books were ranked among teacher’s top 10 books for children under the age of 11. Dahl was named by almost twice as many teachers as Julia Donaldson and JK Rowling, who shared second place.

Siobhain Archer, founder of Teachit Primary, said: “Five of Roald Dahl’s books appeared in the top 10 and, when counted together with all those who could not name a favourite title but who said any of Dahl’s books were a hit with their classes, a staggering 17% of primary teachers named him as their favourite children’s author.

Michael Morpurgo, author of War Horse and teachers’ fourth favourite behind Dahl, JK Rowling and Julia Donaldson, was the standout choice as the person teachers would most like to visit their class.”

Julia Donaldson’s The Gruffalo was ranked the best book for children in the surveys, and the rest of the top 10 featured authors like Louis Sachar, CS Lewis and David Walliams.

Teachers’ favourite children’s authors are:
1: Roald Dahl
2=: Julia Donaldson and JK Rowling
4: Michael Morpurgo
5: Louis Sachar
6: CS Lewis
7: Philip Pullman
8: Enid Blyton
9: Maurice Sendak
10: David Walliams

Teachers’ top 10 favourite children’s books are:
1. The Gruffalo -Julia Donaldson
2. Holes – Louis Sachar
3. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
4. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – C S Lewis
5. The Twits – Roald Dahl
6. Danny, the Champion of the World – Roald Dahl
7. The BFG – Roald Dahl
8. George’s Marvellous Medicine – Roald Dahl
9. Where the Wild Things Are – Maurice Sendak
10. Kensuke’s Kingdom – Michael Morpurgo

To find out more about Teachit Primary, visit their official website.

Roald Dahl

A great weekend for award-winning Michael Morpurgo

His talent is undoubted and has consistently been recognised with awards and acclaim over the last two decades, but rarely can Michael Morpurgo have experienced as fruitful a few days as those that passed this weekend.

Michael Morpurgo wins another award

Michael Morpurgo poses with the Red House Children's Book Award

Shadow – the story of a young Afghan boy named Aman and his heartening relationship with a brave dog, set against a harrowing backdrop of contemporary war – scooped two prizes at the Red House Children’s Book Award on 11 June, while the stage adaptation of Morpurgo’s novel War Horse secured five Tony awards the following day.

Nominated in the Younger Readers category against The Great Hamster Massacre by Katie Davies and Sophie McKenzie’s Time Train to the Blitz, Shadow won that category and amassed enough votes from the children that took part to seal the overall award.

The Red House Children’s Book Awards took place at the Botanical Gardens in Birmingham, with Morpurgo becoming the first author to win the prize three times, following the previous success of his novels Kensuke’s Kingdom and Private Peaceful. He commented that it was ‘particularly lovely’ to come out on top of a competition that saw a total of 158,069 votes from children and young adults across the UK.

In New York the following day, War Horse – a play adapted from Morpurgo’s 1982 novel – scooped a total of five prizes at the Tony Awards, most notably Best Play and Best Direction of a Play. Morpurgo has initially stated that playwright Nick Stafford and his team ‘must be mad’ to try and make a play from his best-selling novel, so he’ll no doubt be thrilled (and a little bit surprised) to the adaptation earn such high acclaim.

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