Michael Morpurgo was born in 1943 in St Albans and was educated at Kings Canterbury, Sandhurst and Kings College London. He taught for ten years in both state and private schools and is married with three children and six grandchildren. His first book was published in 1975 and he has since published over 100 titles. His books have been translated into over twenty languages. Michael's books have also been adapted for film and the stage, including most recently the National Theatre's enormously successful production of War Horse. His books have won the Whitbread Award (The Wreck Of Zanzibar), the Smarties Book Prize (The Butterfly Lion), the Children's Book Award (Kensuke's Kingdom) and Cercle D'Or Prix Sorciere (King Of The Cloud Forests), the Blue Peter Book Award and the Califonia Young Reader Medal (Private Peaceful), the Independent Booksellers' Book of the Year Award (Alone On A Wide Wide Sea) and several have been shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal. Michael was Children's Laureate from 2003-2005.