War Horse author’s new book is West Sussex success

ACCLAIMED author Micheal Morpurgo is celebrating after seeing his novel ‘Running Wild’ voted winner of the 2012 West Sussex Children’s Book Award.

The former Children’s Laureate, whose previous titles include the best-selling novel-turned-blockbuster and stage play ‘War Horse’, was named winner today (Thursday March 1), as part of World Book Day.

The award, now in its tenth year, saw more than 800 pupils from 82 West Sussex schools help decide this year’s champion from nine shortlisted titles.

‘Running Wild’ is set around nine-year-old Will who is coming to terms with the death of his father after being killed in the Iraq War.

An elephant ride along an Indonesian beach in 2004 changes his life forever when he is caught up in the Asian Tsunami – only just missing the waves when the beast stampedes into the jungle.

He struggles to survive alone in the hostile environment, developing relationships with some of the country’s most endangered animals.

School children from across the county, who have been involved in the award since September, also had the chance to meet some of the authors to ask them about their writing.