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A Year of Books
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Michael Morpurgo wins Red House children's book award

13th June 2011

Michael Morpurgo's Shadow has won the Red House children's book award 2011, which is voted for by young readers.

The 67-year-old author becomes the first person in the 31-year history of the award to win it three times, after previously triumphing with Kensuke's Kingdom in 2000 and Private Peaceful in 2004.

Shadow tells the story of a young boy who is befriended by an army sniffer dog in Afghanistan and Morpurgo said writing the book presented a number of challenges considering it focuses on a contemporary conflict.

'I was conscious of the fact that there are families of soldiers who are fighting now in the war and dying in it. I felt compelled to write it but wasn't sure how it would be received,' he told the BBC.

Last year's Red House children's book award was won by Suzanne Collins for The Hunger Games, a modern-day retelling of the Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur.

© W&G Foyle Ltd
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