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1001 Stories Collection

Kensuke’s Kingdom

1001 Kensukes Kingdom
Added on 28th August 2020

Author Michael Morpurgo
First published 1999
Publisher Egmont UK, London, UK

An extraordinary story of friendship and survival.


The day before his twelfth birthday, Michael falls from his parents’ yacht. Washed up on a deserted island with only his dog, Stella, for company, he feels hopeless. Until he realises they are not alone… As a stranger becomes a friend, Michael learns a lot more than just how to survive on the far away island...

Why we chose it

Kensuke’s Kingdom is one of Michael Morpurgo’s most popular stories, particularly in primary schools. An adventure story - a story of survival and the story of an extraordinary friendship

Where it came from

Morpurgo grew up in London, Essex and Kent. After university he worked as a primary school teacher and discovered his power to tell and write stories that children enjoy. Since his first book was published in 1974 he has written over 100 novels, picture books, collections of short stories and libretti, and won numerous awards.

He wrote Kensuke’s Kingdom after a fan wrote a letter asking for a story about a boy stranded on a desert island. Often stuck for character names, he chose to name the lead character, Michael, after himself. This is a feature in many of his books because he likes “to feel I'm there at the heart of the action” as he writes. He also named the character Kensuke after a boy he met at a book signing in a London school.

Where it went next

Kensuke’s Kingdom was shortlisted for the Whitbread Prize and won the FCB Award and The Children’s Book Award in 2000. Like many of his other stories including War Horse and Private Peaceful, Kensuke’s Kingdom has been adapted into a play.

Associated stories

Other stories by this author include War Horse (1982), Why the Whales Came (1985), The Butterfly Lion (1996), The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips (2005), and Shadow (2010).

Added on 28th August 2020

Author Michael Morpurgo
First published 1999
Publisher Egmont UK, London, UK