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Author:Michael Morpurgo, a British author who was born in 1943, growing up in wartime London. He held the title of children's laurerate from 2003-2005. Kensuke's Kingdom is one of his favourite books out of the books he himself has written.
Kensuke's Kingdom: The book was published in 1982. Although it was written for children, it was also well received by adults, increasing its popularity. Although it is not the most successful book by Morpurgo, it is one which is often used at school level.
Plot: Michael's parents take him away from his school, his friends and his life after his father buys a boat called the Peggy Sue. Alongside his parents and his loyal dog, Stella Artois, the family decide to travel around the world. During a storm in the Pacific Ocean, Michael and his dog are washed overboard. When they awake, they discover that they are on a deserted island.
Michael is surprised to see food provided for him, and it is when he is attacked by jellyfish during a swim in the sea that he sees who is behind this. It is an elder man named Kensuke who has lived on the island. The two form a friendship, with Michael teaching Kensuke to read and write, while Kensuke teaches him the way of survival on the island, and they work together to provide food and shelter. But how long will Michael have to wait? Will he meet his parents again or is he destined to a life on the island, like Kensuke?
Thoughts: This book is suitable for children, especially those who enjoy adventure stories,with the use of language and detaile used. Although the book is aimed at children, I found it just as interesting as I had done reading the book as a child. The use of first person makes Michael easy to identify with, and the mysteries of the island draw readers towards the end. The greatest mystery is the identity of Kensuke, whoose emotions come across strongly for a man who says little, and it is intriguing to finally discover his history. I would recommend this for children, and adults too.
It would be foolish to think that Michael Morpurgo, author of the award-winning When the ... more
Whales Came, could create something that would prove to be anything less than stunning and here, in Kensuke's Kingdom, he certainly proves he has not lost his magic touch.When Michael is washed up on an island in the Pacific after falling from his parent's yacht, the Peggy Sue, he struggles to survive on his own. But he soon realises there is someone close by, someone who is watching over him and helping him to stay alive. Following a close-run battle between life and death after being stung by a poisonous jelly fish, the mysterious someone--Kensuke--allows Michael into his world and they become friends, teaching and learning from each other, until the day of separation becomes inevitable.Morpurgo here spins a yarn which gently captures the adventurous elements one would expect from a desert-island tale, but the real strength lies in the poignant and subtle observations of friendship, trust and, ultimately, humanity. Beautifully illustrated by Michael Foreman, Kensuke's Kingdom is a stylish, deceptively simple and magical book that will effortlessly capture the heart and imagination of anyone who reads it, ensuring that Morpurgo continues to stand tall amid the ranks of classic children's authors. (Ages 9 and over) --Susan Harrison