Michael Morpurgo will today (10th November) be presented with this year’s J M Barrie Award for his contribution to children’s literature.
The award is given every year by Action for Children’s Arts to a “children’s arts practitioner” whose lifetime’s work has delighted children and will stand the test of time.
David Wood, chair of Action for Children’s Arts, said Morpurgo is “one of our greatest storytellers”.
“Michael Morpurgo has thrilled and delighted huge numbers of young readers since becoming a children’s author in the early 1970s," Wood said. "Action for Children’s Arts is delighted to recognise Michael’s outstanding contribution by presenting him with the J M Barrie Award 2016. His work will undoubtedly, like Peter Pan, stand the test of time, making him a truly worthy recipient of this award."
Morpurgo added: “Storymakers and storytellers like Barrie, and like all the previous winners of this award, have given us the hope and faith children need, we need, to keep flying, have sustained us through dark and troubled times, have banished doubt. To touch the lives of children, to witness their listening and reading silence, is reward enough in itself. This is simply the icing on the cake.”
Morpurgo is the author of more than 140 books, including War Horse, which was adapted into a play and a Steven Spielberg-directed film. He was children’s laureate between 2003 and 2005 and was given an OBE in 2006.
The award will be presented at a ceremony held at Broadcasting House in London. Action for Children’s Arts will also present its ACA Members’ Awards for children’s arts unsung heroes. The prize for Outstanding Contribution to Children’s Arts 2016 will be given to Linda McClelland, education coordinator at the National Galleries of Scotland.