Michael Morpurgo

Michael MorpurgoForeword
by Michael Morpurgo
Children’s Laureate 2003-2005

Many years ago I was a school teacher with a class of 35 children, all very different, all with their own likes and dislikes. The one thing they all enjoyed was the time at the end of the day when they sat on the floor and I told them a story. Within ten seconds, every one of them was interested and paying attention.

Today when I visit schools, talking to children and giving readings, I see that nothing has changed. Children love a good story.
All my books are based on something true – something I have seen or heard, a new fact I have learned, someone I have met. Of course, I invent most of the story, but it always starts with a truth. Sometimes a good story can help you to feel something or understand a truth in a way that a simple factual account cannot.

The worst thing to do is to treat children as if they’re stupid or don’t understand; they do understand, they know what the deal is, and books can help them to deal with anxiety and give them a sense of perspective.

That is why Good Books for Tough Times is such an important and useful idea, because it will help parents, teachers and librarians to find the right books to help children who are dealing with difficult situations or feelings. Reading is probably the best therapy there is, other than talking to mum or dad.

I hope that you will find this guide useful and, more importantly, that children will enjoy and be helped by reading the books it recommends.

Michael Morpurgo
Children’s Laureate 2003-2005
Partnership for Children, 26-27 Market Place, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey, KT1 1JH, England
Telephone : 00 44 (0) 20 8974 6004 - Registered Charity number: 1089810