Michael Morpurgo’s writing tips

I’m a huge fan of Michael Morpurgo and was once fortunate enough to host him for a talk as well as tour he and his wife around Victoria.  His books tend to be of the universal rather than age-dependent sort which is one of the things I like best about his writing.  Dear Ollie remains one of my all-time favorites, but he’s written so many others that I have enjoyed.  In fact, I don’t think I’ve read a Morpurgo book that I didn’t like.  He recently posted writing tips in The Guardian are well worth checking out. I particularly liked this one.

The most important thing is to live an interesting life. Keep your eyes, ears and heart open. Talk to people and visit interesting places, and don’t forget to ask questions. To be a writer you need to drink in the world around you so it’s always there in your head.

Here are two of my most recent favorite Morpurgo reads.


Great Books for 10-12 Year Old Boys

One of the kid’s lit groups I belong to was asking about books for 10-12 year old boys.  There are so many wonderful books for this age group.  If you know a young boy in this age group, here are a few new and old but good titles to consider.

Here are a few of my recommendations:

Morris Gleitzman
Toad Rage
Toad Away

Gary Paulsen
Dog Song
Escape From Fire Mountain

Michael Morpurgo
An Elephant in the Garden
Dear Ollie

Philip Pullman
I was a Rat,
The Homework Machine,
The Golden Compass and The Amber Spyglass (for sophisticated readers, but the 3rd book is rather dark)

Richard Scrimger
The Nose From Jupiter
A Nose for Adventure
From Charlie’s Point of View

Cornelia Funke
Inkspell  (the last in the series was quite dark)
she also has some books for younger readers but can’t recall names off hand

Kenneth Oppel
Silver Wing
Sun Wing (2 more in the series.  all are good)
Airborn (the first in a series but also works as a stand alone)

Arthur Slade
The Hunchback Assignments
Monsterology: Fabulous Lives of the Creepy, the Revolting, and the Undead  (quite tongue and cheek)
Invasion of the IQ Snatchers

Lemony Snicket
A Series of Unfortunate Events
(series plus the unauthorized autobiography which is very funny)

Do you have any must read titles to suggest?  If so, please post them in the comments.