Michael Morpurgo is the children's laureate of Britain. He has written over ninety-five books and won numerous awards, including the Whitbread Award, the Smarties Prize, and the Children's Book Award. Michael and his wife, Clare, run their own charity, Farms for City Children, from their farm in Devon, England.
The Marble Crusher
In "The Marble Crusher," Albert is new at school and believes everything the bully Sid tells him about the principal--Mr. Manners--and his terrifying marble-crushing machine. Albert feels desperate when his marbles are confiscated, but Mr. Manners finds a way to turn the joke on Sid. In "Colly's Barn," Annie must find a way to stop the farm's old barn from being torn down. Nothing, it seems, can save it--until Colly the swallow and Screecher the owl help Annie save their home. In "Conker," it's the time of year when conkers--the hard fruit of the chestnut tree--ripen. That means it's also time for conker fights, and Nick desperately wants to win. With a little help from his grandmother, he becomes a very special conker champion.