British author Michael Morpurgo was born in St. Albans, Hertforshire in 1943. He attended the University of London and studied English and French. He became a primary school teacher in Kent for about ten years. He and his wife Clare started a charity called Farms for City Children. They currently own three farms where over 2000 children a year stay for a week and experience the countryside by taking part in purposeful farmwork. He has published over 100 books and several screenplays. He won the 1995 Whitbread Children's Book Award for The Wreck of the Zanzibar, the 1996 Nestle Smarties Book Prize for The Butterfly Lion, and the 2000 Children's Book Award for Kensuke's Kingdom. Private Peaceful won the 2005 Red House Children's Book Award and the Blue Peter Book of the Year Award. Five of his books have been made into movies and two have been adapted for television. He was named as the third Children's Laureate in May 2003.