What to Read After... Michael Morpurgo

Published on: 16 June 2019 Author: Anna McKerrow

Sir Michael Morpurgo is a legend in children's literature - but what should you try when you've read all of his stories? We've got some ideas, and we want to hear your thoughts too...

Sir Michael Morpurgo

One of the UK's most successful and prolific children's authors - as well as being a former Waterstones Children's Laureate and current BookTrust President - Sir Michael Morpurgo is a master of writing gripping adventures which are nonetheless full of sensitivity and great kindness.

Whether it's a story about war, football, friendship or animal conservation and environmentalism, children (and adults) know that they're going to get a great story when they open a Morpurgo book.

But if you've read War Horse and Kensuke's Kingdom and adored Shadow and Kaspar, Prince of Cats, where do you go next? We've got some ideas, and we want to hear your thoughts too...

For books with a historical setting...

The front cover of Secrets of a Sun King

Illustration: Julian de Narvaez

Emma Carroll's novels, such as Letters from the Lighthouse and Secrets of a Sun King, will delight readers looking to the past.

Young history fans could try Holly Webb's World War Two sequel to the original classic, Return to The Secret Garden, or Catherine Johnson's Freedom (1783), which tells the story of a young slave boy on a sugar plantation.

And then there's Jacqueline Wilson's newest release, Dancing The Charleston, which takes readers back to the roaring 20s.

For some classic-feeling animal adventure...

The front cover of The Elephant Thief

Illustration: Ji-Hyuk Kim

Jane Kerr's books The Great Animal Escapade and The Elephant Thief are excellent period pieces, while Kerr Thomson's theme of animal conservation in The Rise of Wolves will delight young animal lovers.

Kerry Hyndman and David Long - who won the Blue Peter Book Award for Survivors - teamed up again for Heroes: Incredible True Stories of Courageous Animals.It's a perfect read for non-fiction fans, who can dip in and out of accounts of animals that saved the day.

Finally, inspired by War Horse, Morris Gleitzman's Loyal Creatures explores the story of an Australian horse in World War One.

For middle grade novels featuring friendship as a theme...

The Boy at the Back of the Class

Illustration: Pippa Curnick

The Unicorn Academy series is great for younger readers getting the hang of chapter books, or, for older readers, The Boy at the Back of the Class is a modern classic in the making, in which a gang of primary school kids take a refugee boy under their wing.

Alternatively, in A Moon Girl Stole My Friend, Lyla may live in 2099 with all its expandable breakfast cereal, but friendship is still as tricky as ever.

And Humza and Umer in Little Badman and the Invasion of the Killer Aunties have to battle the strange Invasion of the Body Snatchers-style Pakistani aunties who appear at their school.

Join in!

You've heard our recommendations - now, we would love to hear which stories you would recommend to fans of Sir Michael Morpurgo! Do you know titles that really worked for Morpurgo devotees? Are there any books that you think really fit the bill?

For example, Miss Harrhy on Twitter suggested The Silver Sword by Ian Serralier, saying: 'When I was young this book really got me thinking about the impact war had on children. Expertly written, the author pens from an angle that lets children gently (and safely) explore this contentious era.'

So what would you recommend?

Let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment below or by getting in touch on Twitter or Instagram @BookTrust, using the hashtag #WhatToReadAfter.

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