Author(s): Michael Morpurgo, O. B. E.
Former children's laureate Michael Morpurgo remembers the post-war Britain of his childhood in this unflinching and deeply poignant tale of the physical and mental scars of war. From a young age, Michael is both fascinated by and afraid of his grandfather. Grandpa's ship was torpedoed during the Second World War, leaving him with terrible burns. Every time he comes to stay, Michael is warned by his mother that he must not stare, he must not make too much noise, he must not ask Grandpa any questions about his past. As he grows older, Michael stays with his grandfather during the summer holidays, and as he finally learns the story behind his injuries, he gets to know the real man behind the solemn figure from his childhood. Michael begins to see beyond the burns, and this gives him the power to begin healing some of the scars that have divided his family for so long.
...a beautiful book with a serious, downbeat subject... -- The School Librarian The School Librarian Moving and beautifully written, this perceptive short story does not hide from the truth but approaches it with empathy, making for a really moving succinctly told tale. Parents in Touch Unflinching and deeply poignant tale of the physical and mental scars of war. The Bookseller Children's Buyer's Guide This graphic, fictional story, simply and effectively illustrated by Gemma O'Callaghan, will show the 11-plus who read it not only how terrible it was to be so injured, but also what the consequences of such injuries were. Newbury Weekly News Revered storyteller, Michael Morpurgo remembers the post-war Britain of his childhood in this unflinching and deeply poignant tale of the physical and mental scars of war, featuring beautiful illustrations from new talent, Gemma O'Callaghan. Surrey Advertiser This book is very accessible to young readers [...] It confronts difficult issues about the effects of war and also how we relate to people who have been damaged. The simple, direct prose strips events and emotions back in a way that removes any sentimentality and allows children to empathise with all of the characters. Carousel
Michael Morpurgo was 2003-2005 Children's Laureate, has written over 100 books and is the winner of many awards, including the Whitbread Children's Book Award, the Smarties Book Prize, the Blue Peter Award and the Red House Children's Book Award. His books are translated and read around the world and his hugely popular novel War Horse is now both a critically acclaimed stage play and a highly successful film. Michael and his wife, Clare, live in Devon. Visit Michael's website at www.michaelmorpurgo.com. Gemma O'Callaghan is an illustrator and printmaker. While studying for her Masters degree at Anglia Ruskin University she discovered her love for screen printing, which has continued into her professional work. Gemma lives and works in Nottingham; this is her first book for children. www.gemma-ocallaghan.co.uk