March is Michael Morpurgo Month, a celebration of one of the best storytellers (and one of my favourite authors). Organised by Michael Morpurgo’s publisher, it is a chance to highlight the many wonderful stories that Michael has written. Here is one of my favourite Michael Morpurgo books.
Michael Morpurgo has written some of my favourite stories – Private Peaceful, Alone on a Wide, Wide Sea, and Shadow. He one of the best storytellers around. Michael’s latest book, A Medal for Leroy, is inspired by the life of Walter Tull, the only black officer to serve in the British Army in the First World War.
Michael doesn’t remember his father, who died in a Spitfire over the English Channel. And his mother, heartbroken and passionate, doesn’t like to talk about him. But then Michael’s aunt gives him a medal and a photograph, which begin to reveal a hidden story.
A story of love, loss and secrets.
A story that will change everything – and reveal to Michael who he really is…
A Medal for Leroy is a story of war, love and family secrets. Like many of Michael’s other stories, it’s told from the point of view of someone who is old (in this case Michael) looking back at his life and telling the reader the story of what happened. I really like this style of storytelling because it makes you feel like you are just sitting down for a cup of tea with the main character while they tell you the story. Michael tells us that he never knew his father because he died during the war, but his mother and his aunties love him very much. When one of his aunties dies, she leaves a special package for Michael, full of family secrets. In this package, Michael learns about his auntie’s life and about the father he never knew. Her story is heart-breaking, but with moments of happiness and hope.
Once again, Michael Morpurgo has written an emotional story that you get caught up in. Even though the war is happening, you hope that everything is going to be fine, that Martha will meet Leroy again, and her father will welcome her home. As always, Michael presents the realities of war to portray what life was like during this horrible time. Even though Michael has returned to a topic that he has written about many times before, A Medal for Leroy, is a different story and just as wonderful as his other war stories, like Private Peaceful, War Horse, and An Elephant in the Garden. You can read more about the person who inspired this story, Walter Tull, at the back of the book too.