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Why the Whales Came [Paperback]

Michael Morpurgo
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
RRP: 5.99
Price: 5.03 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

3 Oct 2011

An exciting adventure from Britain’s best-loved children’s author and the man behind War Horse, Michael Morpurgo.

Gracie and her friend Daniel have always been warned to stay away from the Birdman and his side of the island. But then they find a message in the sand and discover the Birdman is not who they thought. They build up a lovely friendship with him, but when the children get stranded on Samson Island they don’t know whether to believe the birdman’s story that the island is cursed. Set on a remote island against the backdrop of World War I this story will captivate and delight young readers.

Former Children’s Laureate and award-winning author of War Horse, Michael Morpurgo, again demonstrates why he is considered to be the master story teller with yet another of his beautifully crafted war stories for children.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Egmont; New edition edition (3 Oct 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 140522925X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405229258
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 19,758 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Multi-award winning author, Michael Morpurgo, is one of Britain's best-loved writers for children and has won many prizes, including the Smarties Prize, The Writers Guild Award and the Blue Peter Book Award for his recent novel, Private Peaceful, which has also had two successful runs as a play devised by Bristol Old Vic. From 2003 to 2005 he was the Children's Laureate, a role which took him all over the UK to promote literacy and reading, and in 2005 he was named the Booksellers Association Author of the Year.

Product Description

About the Author

ard and has been short-listed for the Carnegie Medal four times. He started the charity Farms for City Children in 1976 with his wife, Clare, aimed at relieving the “poverty of experience” many young children feel in inner city and urban areas. Michael is also a patron of over a dozen other charities. Living in Devon, listening to Mozart and working with children have provided Michael with the ideas and incentive to write his stories. He spends half his life mucking out sheds with the children, feeding sheep or milking cows; the other half he spends dreaming up and writing stories for children. "For me, the greater part of writing is daydreaming, dreaming the dream of my story until it hatches out - the writing down of it I always find hard. But I love finishing it, then holding the book in my hand and sharing my dream with my readers." Michael received an OBE in December 2006 for his services to literature.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
90 of 96 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An exciting review by Jessica and Egce 24 May 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This book is about Gracie Jenkins and Daniel Pender who were inseparable friends. They lived on the Scilly Isles off the Cornish coast. There is a small island off Rusy Bay called Samson which is said to be haunted.
We really enjoyed this book because of the way it made you want to read on.It also had a very happy ending.
We recommend this book to all ages exspecally
between 6-12.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book to encourage reading 29 Dec 2009
Format:Paperback
I bought this to read to my son, whose reading level wasn't (I thought) advanced enough for it. We'd seen this done as a play, so I felt he could connect easily with the story. I started reading, but he was so entranced and so eager to know what came next that he'd pick it up when I put it down and read it for himself. At first he had to work hard at it, but by the last chapter he was reading it quite fluently. It did exactly what I'd hoped: interest him in reading something more challenging than the Horrid Henry books, thereby improving his reading skills.

In fact we both enjoyed it so much, despite knowing the basic story beforehand, that we are setting out to get more Morpurgo books. If the others are as engaging as this one we shall have a fine old time reading to each other. Given that getting boys to read can be difficult, I was very pleased with the way in which Why the Whales Came provided a level of interest, excitement and engagement with the story and the text to bring home to my boy the sheer pleasure of reading.

The book has aroused his interest in other ways too: he's now very keen on knowing more about whales in general and narwhals in particular, and wants desperately to visit the Scilly Islands to see Byher and Samson. He's been using the atlas and the encyclopaedia to find out more, without any prompting from his parents.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This book is set on the Isles of Scilly in the first world war. Its all about two children (Daniel and Gracie),and the birdman, who is meant to be mad and can set curses on you. The children make friends with him and in the end he is forced to tell the secret behind cursed Samson, a nearby empty island... This book is a bit slow moving at first but speeds up quickly. It was made into a successful film in 1989, now it is very successful with me.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Take my advice! 2 Nov 2006
By Birdman
Format:Paperback
If you like reading adventure and suspense, with added folklore and curses, then this is the ideal read for you. Set in the Isles of Scilly, this book charts the friendship of Gracie and Daniel as they build up a relationship with the mysterious Birdman. Despite warnings to stay far away from him, they start to meet him and commence a friendship. The consequences of this are far reaching and affect all the islanders.

This is a gripping and exciting story that will keep you on the edge of your seat. If you like this book, then you might like to consider The Horse and his Boy by CS Lewis.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book ROCKS! 1 May 2007
Format:Paperback
I think it was a lovely, mysterious, exciting book! The characters were really cool and the book was written so well. The story is very interesting because it has ghosts and curses but it isn't very scary, only if you read it at night!!!

I read this book in class with my classmates and I really recommend it to anyone who likes reading! When I was reading it I couldn't ever stop because there were exciting and fun things happening all the time!

[...]
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Gracie and Daniel find them self very curious about the birdman and Sampson island, which is supposodly cursed, which Gracies father's best friend found out when he was forced to move after he visited the island and found terrible things were happening to him and his family. Gracie and Daniel visited Rushy Bay to sail there boats because Daniels brother kicked the two children away from the pool they usually sail there boats at, but when they get there, they find that there were the enitials Z.W. writen in seashells within the sand. Then they finally meet the birdman and his parrots and find that his real name was Zackaria Woodcock, and that he wasnt a bad or dangerous man. But he did warn them about Sampson island and that it was cursed. Curiousoty got the best of Gracie and Daniel who left to visit Sampson island. When they got there it was to foggy to see, so they went back home, were Gracie found that her Dad had been killed by the war that happened in 1914, WAS IT THE CURSE!!!???
Mark Wilson Age: 11
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful! 2 Aug 2006
Format:Paperback
This is a delightful story and is indicative of the excellent children's books that Michael Morpurgo writes. Set in the Isles of Scilly, children Daniel and Gracie are warned to keep away from the strange old man dubbed 'The Birdman'. Fate plays her hand however, as the children build up a friendship with the Birdman, whose odd ways are explained by deafness. Their friendship is not welcomed by all and the story builds to a climax with superstition, World War I and island desperation all coming in to play.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book that everybody will enjoy. 12 Aug 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This is the story of two friends called Gracie and Daniel who live on the Isles of Scilly and their meeting with the Birdman. I was completely taken away to the Isles of Scilly while listening to this book on tape. I think most children would love this book as much as I did, and adults too. I have since read another of his stories and thought that was very good too.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Why the Whales Came
This author is such a joy and I have been buying them for my 13 year old grandson to encourage him to so some regular reading.
Published 5 days ago by Molly
5.0 out of 5 stars Another fantastic story by Michael Morpurgo!
I love the writhing style of Michael Morpurgo and this is another brilliant book. Once I started reading I couldn't put it down. A great read for both children and adults. Read more
Published 26 days ago by ms sa byrne
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW
This book was amazing I loved the beginning the middle and the end .So I guess I'm saying I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to those who like
Michael... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Liesl Hadley
5.0 out of 5 stars Why the whales came
This is one of the best books I have ever read and mind you I am only 12. I now want to go to Scilly islands
Published 2 months ago by Louis McMillan
5.0 out of 5 stars Z.W
I thought was an amazing story it was so heart warming I almost cried! It is good that people are learning from their mistakes and teaching others what they have personally learnt.
Published 2 months ago by v mills
5.0 out of 5 stars Fab book
Two friends live on a beautiful island beside Samson.
Now Samson is supposed to be haunted.And then theres the Birdman.
"The Birdman puts spells on people. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Tommy Hayes
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice story!
I read this with my youngest child when she was about 8 and we both really enjoyed it - thanks MM!
Published 5 months ago by Caractacus
5.0 out of 5 stars Favourite yet!
I really loved this book, and I feel this is a new level of story writing... A must read! Give it a go
Published 5 months ago by Adam Smethurst
5.0 out of 5 stars Morpurgo
my reluctant reader has really enjoyed this author, this story was bought for school reading project and he is loving it
Published 6 months ago by Melimum
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely story
This is a delightful novel about two children living on the small Scilly Isle of Bryher on the eve of the First World War, who befriend an outcast from the community, known as the... Read more
Published 8 months ago by John Hopper
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