Michael Morpurgo began writing stories in the early ‘70s, in response to the children in his class at the primary school where he taught in Kent. One of the UK’s best-loved authors and storytellers, Michael was appointed Children’s Laureate in 2003. He has written over 130 books, including The Butterfly Lion, Kensuke’s Kingdom, Why the Whales Come, The Mozart Question, Shadow, and War Horse, which was adapted for a hugely successful stage production by the National Theatre and then, in 2011, for a film directed by Steven Spielberg. His book Private Peaceful has been adapted for the stage by Simon Reade and made into a film directed by Pat O’Connor. Running Wild was adapted for the stage by Samuel Adamson and premiered by Chichester Festival Youth Theatre in 2015, winning the UK Theatre Award for Best Show for Children and Young People, and was later produced at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and on a UK tour. Michael was awarded the OBE for his writing in 2006. His books have been translated into many languages including Chinese, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Hebrew and Japanese. His latest books Boy Giant will publish in paperback in October (Harper Collins), and The Puffin Keeper will publish in November (Puffin). In 1976, Michael and his wife, Clare, started the charity Farms for City Children. The charity runs three farms around the country, in Gloucestershire, Pembrokeshire and North Devon. Each farm offers children and teachers from urban primary schools the chance to live and work in the countryside for a week, and gain hands-on experience.