Michael Morpurgo to live-stream a reading of his new book written for The Queen's Platinum Jubilee from Portsmouth Central Library

BEST-selling children's author Michael Morpurgo will be reading his new book, written for The Queen's Platinum Jubilee, via a live-stream from Portsmouth Central Library.

Thursday, 19th May 2022, 9:53 pm

One-hundred-and-twenty pupils from St Jude's School will make up the in-person audience for the first live-streamed reading of There Once is a Queen, to a global virtual audience.

Illustrated by Michael Foreman, the book begins with The Queen as a child, planting an oak tree with her father, then follows through her historic reign, bringing it all vividly to life for readers, big and small.

Cllr Suzy Horton, cabinet member for children, families and education at Portsmouth City Council, said: ‘I am delighted that Michael has chosen to share his new book with children from a Portsmouth school, and will use our wonderful children's section at Portsmouth Central Library as the location for his live-stream reading.

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Best-selling children's author Michael Morpurgo

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‘Anything which helps promote a culture of books and reading among children and young people in the city is warmly welcomed, and we are delighted to be involved in this event.’

Cllr Steve Pitt, cabinet member for culture, leisure, and economic development said: ‘As a city planting many trees for the jubilee as part of The Queen’s Green Canopy, I was delighted that Michael has woven the planting of a tree into his story.

‘This is a great event to kick-start our jubilee celebrations across the city, which end with our two free Big Lunch community events on Sunday, June 5.’

Best-selling children's author Michael Morpurgo will read his brand-new book written for The Queen's Platinum Jubilee, via a live-stream from Portsmouth Central Library, from 10.45am - 11.45am on Monday 23 May 2022.

HarperCollins Children’s Books and the charity The Reading Agency, have joined together to give 5,000 free copies of the book to libraries across the UK.

Michael Morpurgo said he was ‘delighted’ about the donation and added: ‘Libraries have been, and continue to be, a constant in our communities, our schools, and lives. Libraries, and particularly the librarians who work in them, are vital for us all, but especially for those who need them most: those with least, young, and old.’

There will be an opportunity for questions at the end of the event. Please email questions before May 23 to [email protected] using the subject heading ‘Morpurgo Questions’. Not all questions will be able to be answered.

The reading takes place from 10.45am-11.45am on Monday, May 23. It is not a public event but the live-stream is open to all to watch. Join here: bit.ly/TOIAQLive