Michael’s parents buy a yacht, and take him off to sail round the world. Washed overboard in a fierce storm, Michael finds himself on the shore of a remote island – and soon discovers he’s not alone. Kensuke, a former Japanese soldier, survived the war and the bombing of Hiroshima, but his family perished. As a bond forms between the two, Kensuke faces a choice: can he give up the life he’s built for himself to help reunite Michael with his parents?
Reviewed by Maggie Fergusson in Slightly Foxed Issue 60.
A Modern Pied Piper
For generations of children, Michael Morpurgo has been a kind of Pied Piper. No one is sure exactly how many books he’s written, but there are over 150 of them, and they are said to have sold, in total, more than 35 million copies. Many have become classics – Private Peaceful, which follows a First World War soldier through the last night of his life before he is executed for cowardice; Kensuke’s Kingdom, the story of a small boy washed up on an island in the Pacific; Why the Whales Came, set in the Scilly Isles in 1914.
Extract from Slightly Foxed Issue 60, Winter 2018
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