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Welcome to The Literary Pig's blog - a safe haven for all those afflicted with
the unbearable urge to write.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

12 Days of a LitPig Christmas: 8

On the 8th day of Christmas my LitPig brought to me ...


Each day I want to share the writing of an author that I read for the first time in 2011.   These are my personal choices - you may know many of them, but perhaps one or two will be new to you ... So why not try a new author in 2012.  
August 2011:
If you haven't yet heard of War Horse by Michael Murpogo then trust me you will know all about it by the end of January 2012, following the release of Steven Spielberg's blockbuster movie.  The book was actually written in 1982 but has been reprinted numerous times and now is probably Michael's best known novel (since the opening of the successful West End play - a surperb experience).  Yes this is a book for 8+ children, but its a cracking read.  You immediately know that you are in the capable hands of an expert storyteller and soon become immersed in Joey's world.  Like its famous equivalent 'Black Beauty' the story is told from the horse's viewpoint (Joey).  As with Anna Sewell's equine classic you will need to read this with a large box of tissues readily to hand.  I blubbed at the end, of course, but also cried about four other times throughout the novel ... and it's a very short book!  The most memorable aspect is the balanced portrayal of the military characters.  Their nationalities become irrelevant as they are all written with humanity and sympathy.  

Wryly Michael Murpogo is reputed to have said he will be remembered as the writer of Steven Spielberg's War Horse.  Thankfully many of us know him to be a master storyteller of many, many tales.

To say Michael Murpogo is a prolific writer is an understatement - here are his other novels:

It Never Rained: Five Stories (1974)

Living Poets (compiler with Clifford Simmons) (1974)
Long Way Home (1975)
Thatcher Jones (1975)
The Story-Teller (compiler with Graham Barrett) (1976)
Friend or Foe (1977)
Do All You Dare (1978)
What Shall We Do with It? (1978)
All Around the Year (with Ted Hughes) (1979)
Love at First Sight (1979)
That's How (1979)
The Day I Took the Bull By the Horn (1979)
The Ghost-Fish (1979)
The Marble Crusher and Other Stories (1980)
The Nine Lives of Montezuma (1980)
Miss Wirtle's Revenge (1981)
The White Horse of Zennor: And Other Stories from below the Eagle's
Nest (1982)
War Horse (1982)
Twist of Gold (1983)
Little foxes (1984)
Why the whales came (1985)
Words of Songs (libretto, music by Phyllis Tate) (1985)
Tom's Sausage Lion (1986)
Conker (1987)
Jo-Jo, the Melon Monkey (1987)
King of the Cloud Forests (1988)
Mossop's Last Chance (with Shoo Rayner) (1988)
My Friend Walter (1988)
Albertine, Goose Queen (with Shoo Rayner) (1989)
Mr. Nobody's Eyes (1989)
Jigger's Day Off (with Shoo Rayner) (1990)
Waiting for Anya (1990)
And Pigs Might Fly! (with Shoo Rayner) (1991)
Colly’s barn (1991)
The sandman and the turtles (1991)
Martians at mudpuddle farm(with Shoo Rayner) (1992)
The King in the Forest (1993)
The war of Jenkins’ ear (1993)
Arthur, High King of Britain (1994)
Snakes and Ladders (1994)
The Dancing Bear (1994)
Blodin the Beast (1995)
Mum's the Word (with Shoo Rayner) (1995)
Stories from Mudpuddle Farm (with Shoo Rayner) (1995)
The wreck of the Zanzibar(1995)
Robin of Sherwood (1996)
Sam's Duck (1996)
The butterfly lion (1996)
The Ghost of Grania O'Malley (1996)
Farm Boy (1997)
Cockadoodle-doo, Mr Sultana! (1998)
Escape from Shangri-La (1998)
Joan of Arc (1998)
Red Eyes at Night (1998)
Wartman (1998)
Kensuke’s Kingdom(1999)
The Rainbow Bear (1999)
Wombat Goes Walkabout (1999)
Billy the kid (2000)
Black Queen (2000)
Dear Olly (2000)
From Hereabout Hill (2000)
The Silver Swan (2000)
Who's a Big Bully Then? (2000)
More Muck and Magic (2001)
Out of the Ashes (2001)
Toro! Toro! (2001)
Mr. Skip (2002)
The Last Wolf (2002)
The Sleeping Sword (2002)
Gentle Giant (2003)
Private Peaceful(2003)
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (2004)
I Believe in Unicorns (2005)
The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips (2005)
War: Stories of Conflict (compiler) (2005)
Albatross (2006)
It's a Dog's Life (2006)
Alone on a wide, wide sea(2006)
Beowulf (2006), illustrated by Michael Foreman
Born to Run (2007)
The Mozart Question (2007)
Hansel and Gretel (2008)
This Morning I Met a Whale (2008)
Kaspar: Prince of Cats (2008)
The Birthday Book (editor, with Quentin Blake) (2008)
Running Wild (2009)
The Kites Are Flying! (2009)
An Elephant in the Garden (2010)
Not Bad for a Bad Lad (2010)
Shadow (2010)
Little Manfred (2011)

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