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Kensuke's Kingdom (1999)

by Michael Morpurgo

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,4363010,318 (3.99)36
When Michael is swept off his family's yacht, he washes up on a desert island, where he struggles to survive--until he finds he is not alone.

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» See also 36 mentions

English (29)  Spanish (1)  All languages (30)
Showing 1-5 of 29 (next | show all)
Human Characteristics: Individuality; Loss; Power; Faithfulness-

Life Patterns/Processes: Rite of Passage (Journey into Adulthood)

Recognize how to “be one with nature” Teach an appreciation for nature and for close relationships, compromise, and empathy.

Could be used to teach about the different types of conflict as it involves each. Person vs. Person; Person vs. Self; Person vs. Society; Person vs. Nature.
  Jessica_Diaz | Jul 5, 2017 |
A very beautiful story about how a young boy escapes poverty on a sailing boat with his family, then gets swept overboard with his dog. He wakes on a deserted island only to find that he is not alone. A interesting look into the thought patterns of a boy trying to get back to his parents. The relationship that evolves from controller to father figure with the gentle but stubborn Kensuke. I love the description of how he paints. Building a friendship around silence. Beautiful. ( )
  Breony | Jan 26, 2017 |
This is the story of a boy who is lost at sea and finds a new way to survive creating friendships and learning to appreciate what he already had.
  gregresch | Jun 5, 2016 |
A gripping tale of a young boy taken from the familiarity and comfort of his home and school as his parents try their best to bounce back after losing their jobs at the brick factory. The answer: Sail around the world, of course! Michael and his dog are thrown overboard and are rescued to a (deserted?) tropical island where the real journey of discovery and identification of the self begins. ( )
  Davis22 | May 11, 2016 |
Kensuke’s Kingdom by Michael Morpurgo is an children’s adventure story about 11 year old Michael and his dog, Stella who are washed overboard and end up on a desert island in the Pacific during a family trip in the 1980’s. There is one other human on the island, an elderly Japanese man who looks after Michael but doesn’t seem to want him to try to catch the attention of any passing boat or do anything that could perhaps end in Michael’s rescue and reunion with his mother and father.

At first Michael is bitterly angry at Kensuke’s attitude but life on the island has its own gentle rhythm that eventually finds Michael and Kensuke bonding as they fish, paint and play football together. Kensuke tells Michael his story of how he ended up on the island. Kensuke eventually realizes that Michael is too young to be stranded on the island the rest of his life so the two build a signal fire and through their conversations, Michael is sure that Kensuke will come off the island with him. But when rescue finally arrives, Kensuke elects to stay on the island as he feels responsible for protecting the orangutans and other wildlife that are to be found there.

My granddaughter read this book for school and wasn’t particularly taken with it and as I knew this author and love survival stories, I decided to read it for myself. I can understand why she wasn’t enthralled by the book as there wasn’t a lot of action or humor in the story, both elements of which she looks for. This is a book to bring an awareness of the environment to the young and as such, I thought the author did a fine job. I enjoyed the book with its simple language and quiet understated story. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Apr 20, 2016 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Michael Morpurgoprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bos, Tjallingsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Foreman, MichaelIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jacobi, DerekNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kempe, YlvaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ménard, DianeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Meek, ElinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nagyfejeő Ritasecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Paterson, StuartAdaptersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Place, FrançoisIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pullens, Renésecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stimson, DavidCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Graham and Isabella. My thanks to Isabella Hutchins, Terence Buckler, and Professor Seigo Tonimoto and his family, for all their kind help with this book.
First words
I disappeared on the night before my twelfth birthday.
At school I had never been much good at writing. I could never think of what to write or how to begin. But on the Peggy Sue I found I could open up my log and just write. There was always so much I wanted to say. And that's the thing. I found I didn't really write it down at all. Rather, I said it. I spoke it from my head, down my arm, through my fingers and my pencil, and onto the page. And that's how it reads to me now, all these years later, like me talking. (p. 23)
I still dream of the elephants in South Africa. I loved how slow they are, how thoughtful. I loved their wise, weepy eyes. (p. 34-35)
Even then as I stood there, that first morning, filled with apprehension at the terrifying implications of my dreadful situation, I remember thinking how wonderful it was, a green jewel of an island framed in white, the sea all around it a silken shimmering blue. Strangely, perhaps comforted somehow by the extraordinary beauty of the place, I was not at all downhearted. On the contrary I felt strangely elated. I was alive. (p. 50)
In the dying light of each day he would sit beside me and watch over me, the last of the evening sun on his face. I felt as if he were healing me with his eyes. (p. 102 in the chapter "All That Silence Said")
I had always liked to draw, but from Kensuke I learned to love it, that to draw or paint I first had to observe well, then set out the form of the picture in my head and send it down my arm through the tip of the brush and onto the shell. He taught me all this entirely without speaking. He simply showed me. (p. 108-9)
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When Michael is swept off his family's yacht, he washes up on a desert island, where he struggles to survive--until he finds he is not alone.

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