Kensuke’s Kingdom

Age: 9+

Published: October 2010

ISBN: 9781405248563

Format: Paperback

Other editions

  • Hardback: 9781405259422
  • Ebook: 9781780312903
  • Audio CD: 9780007179404
  • Electronic Audio: 9780007457281
A Michael Morpurgo Month Pick!

“I heard the wind above me in the sails. I remember thinking, this is silly, you haven’t got your safety harness on, you haven’t got your lifejacket on. You shouldn’t be doing this . . . I was in the cold of the sea before I could even open my mouth to scream.”

Washed up on an island in the Pacific, Michael struggles to survive on his own. With no food and no water, he curls up to die. When he wakes, there is a plate beside him of fish, of fruit, and a bowl of fresh water.  He is not alone…

“This book changed my thoughts on reading all together. It is absolutely brilliant and I’ve read it three times already and it brings a tear to my eye every time.” Ciera, the Nation’s Favourite Morpurgo Vote

“It makes you cry, there is so much determination and spirit, oh it’s just fantastic!” Soph, the Nation’s Favourite Morpurgo Vote

From Kensuke’s Kingdom to Running Wild, Twist of Gold to Dear Olly, Michael Morpurgo talks about the theme of voyages in his books.


  • Winner Federation Children’s Bookgroups Award
  • Shortlisted Whitbread Prize
  • Nominated Carnegie Medal
  • Winner 3 French literary awards

Listen to an extract from the audiobook

Buying options

Buy Kensuke’s Kingdom Now

Translated Editions

  • Kensuke’s Kingdom (Simplified Chinese)
  • Kensuke’s Kingdom (Traditional Chinese)
  • Kensuke’s Kingdom (Croatian)
  • Kensuke’s Kingdom (Danish)
  • Kensuke’s Kingdom (Arabic)
  • Le royaume de Kensuké
  • Kensuke’s Kingdom (German)
  • Kensuke’s Kingdom (Greek)
  • Kensuke’s Kingdom (Hungarian)
  • Kensuke’s Kingdom (Icelandic)
  • Kensuke’s Kingdom (Italian)
  • Kensuke’s Kingdom (Japanese)
  • Kensuke’s Kingdom (Korean)
  • Kensuke’s Kingdom (Dutch)
  • Kensuke’s Kingdom (Norwegian)
  • Kensuke’s Kingdom (Hebrew)
  • Kensuke’s Kingdom (Polish)
  • Kensuke’s Kingdom (Potuguese)
  • Kensuke’s Kingdom (Basque)
  • Kensuke’s Kingdom (Catalan)
  • Kensuke’s Kingdom (Swedish)
  • Kensuke’s Kingdom (Thai)
  • Teyrnas Kensuke

Related Resources

Download our wonderful Michael Morpurgo Month poster. This version is a smaller file, perfect for slower computers!

Download our wonderful Michael Morpurgo Month poster. This version is a smaller file, perfect for slower computers!

Download our Michael Morpurgo Month guide now

Download our Michael Morpurgo Month guide now

Download our wonderful Michael Morpurgo Month poster and celebrate a book a day in November

Download our wonderful Michael Morpurgo Month poster and celebrate a book a day in November

Download the complete teacher resources pack now

Download the complete teacher resources pack now


Related News


Write a review of Kensuke’s Kingdom. Your review won't appear on the site straight away as we will read it first.

Kensuke’s Kingdom is a very inspiring book. It has lots of powerful adjectives which makes it more interesting. i would rate it 10 out 10

Great book it hooked me in straight away - if I was ever stranded on an island I would take some advice from kensuke . 11 out of 10 for me. My wish would be for a Whole series.

As a teacher you look for the book that will interest our young readers. As an added benefit, a book that will ignite the passion I had as a child, reading Tolkien/Garner and Lewis.
Kensuke`s Kingdom is such a book and I’ve taught it for many years now with my Upper Key Stage 2 children and it never fails to interest and entice, they tend to then read more by Michael Morpurgo and realise there’s a lot of great literature out there.
Mr Green, Brierley Cof E.

This is my favorite book. When I finished reading it, I loved it so much that I told my mom that she should read it too. She also loved it. God bless you Michael Morpurgo!

This really is an incredible book, it has a gripping story and is to date one of the only books that has brought a tear to my eye. This might just be one of Morpurgo’s finest masterpieces.

My 8 year old has just read Kensuke’s Kingdom in one night.  He ran down stairs in the morning to tell me all about it and how he just couldn’t put it down!  He is now a big fan and has got him interested in reading fiction again.  Thank you.

He is now reading ‘Shadow’ and has made space on his bookshelf for a collection of Michael Morpurgo books.  I also have had a quick flick through the pages of ‘Shadow’ and plan to pick it up once he has finished!

Kensuke’s Kingdom is a fantastic book. The plot is brilliant and once I start reading I can’t stop! We are doing an essay on this book in class but I’m enjoying writing about it. This is my favorite book other than War Horse!


I love this book. I’m 18 yrs old now and still remember reading it when I was 9 yrs old. I remember crying when I read it, it was just really touching.

Kensuke’s Kingdom is a gripping story of friendship and survival. It’s inspiring, it makes you laugh, it makes you cry. It is everything you would look for in a good novel. Michael Morpurgo writes very emotional books and I believe this to be one of his best ones. I’ve read a great deal of his books as I have a lot of them at home. The postscript was a wonderfully thought out addition and overall, I am very pleased with the fact I have read Kensuke’s Kingdom. It has changed my perspective of things.

The book is great i did it in class and me and my friends were so surprised by the postscript

It is my favourite book ever 8/8

I really enjoyed the book, it’s so fabulous. Where have you got the idea from? I also have the cd to it so we can hear u tell it as well as us reading it. On the other hand all of Michael Mrpurgo books are awesome anyway.

it’s great

this is the best book ever

I did this book for a guided reading task with a few of my friends and it was probably the best book I have ever read. I like how the start almost tells you about the end. The letter is a really good idea and the whole book is so inspiring. This book has recommended me to read more and I’m now on why the whales came, also all my other friends are know reading one because we have a big collection at school and I have a lot of them at home.

This book is so amazing you can’t put it down! Its really boring at the start but when they start sailing around in the Peggy sue it gets even better!
Thank you Michael Morpurgo for writing this book it is amazing!

It is one of the best stories I have ever read and this is the first Michael Morpurgo book I have read . The story was assigned as homework because we were basing our world book week topic on it. The book pulls at my heart strings , that’s what I enjoyed about this book.

We read Kensuke’s Kingdom as our class novel. It is a story of friendship and survival.  It is a really inspiring book about an adventure, that has a twist in the middle.  The book makes you want to keep on reading, and it has a cliffhanger at the end.  The book was brilliant and we found it inspiring - how foe can become your friend.  We could recommend this book as a great class novel for 9-12 years old.  Having nearly read all of Michael Morpurgo’s books, this is definitely one of the best.  The book is better than watching television!!  The end of the story brings the whole adventure together. The story was so dramatic, we fell in love with it!

i haven’t read the book yet but it should be amazing

Kensukes Kingdom is a sensational book packed with excitement and goodness. It’s my favourite book ever, I have read it so many times. It’s all about this boy and his wonderful relationship with this man on an island. His books never cease to impress me as he is such an emotional writer who really connects with his audience. I recommend this book to anyone who sees it, pick it up and read it!!!!!

A desert island story, this starts off as a great family adventure. Michael's father loses his job at the brickworks and his parents decide to sell their house and all their possessions and buy a yacht to sail round the world. Of course, sailing the world's oceans is a bit different from messing about in a dinghy on the local reservoir, but Michael's mum qualifies for her Yachtmaster's Certificate and everyone practises his own job - Mum is the skipper, Dad is first mate and handyman, Michael is the ship's boy and Stella rtois (the dog) is the ship's cat. The voyage goes well. They master their fears and handle their vessel well. They visit Africa and south America and Australia, having the time of their lives. But as they leave the Great Barrier Reef behind them and head up through the Coral Sea towards Papua New Guinea disaster befalls Michael. Left along at the wheel one night while his parents sleep below Michael is washed overboard: 'The lights of the Peggy Sue, their boat, went away into to the dark of the night, leaving me alone in the ocean, alone with the certainty that they were already too far away, that my cries for help could not possibly be heard. I thought then of the sharks cruising the black water beneath me - scenting me, already searching me out, homing in on me - and I knew there could be no hope. I would be eaten alive. Either that or I would drown slowly. Nothing could save me.' But something does save Michael. His football, which was washed overboard with him, provides just enough buoyancy to keep Michael's head above water. Hours later Michael awakes to find himself washed up on a desert island. He is exhausted and hungry and thirsty. How he would have managed if he had been quite alone on the island, I'm not sure. but he is not alone, on a rock shelf above his head is a bowl of fresh water and fish and fruit laid out on palm leaves every morning that he was living on this desert island with Kensuke. One solitary man lives on this island, and if you want to know his story, you will have to read the book. Michael tells us, in his own words, how he learned to live with Kensuke, and how he came to love him and trust him. I would rate this book 10/10 because of its descriptive language which makes a clear picture in my head. this book is a great addition to all the books on my big bookshelf. I really recommend this book for people over the age of 9 years. Once you start the book you will never ever want to put it down to go to sleep you would just want to carry on reading without doing anything else except that. You could read that book night and day. It has a couple of joikes that it cracks but it is mostly a serious reader's book so if you just like funny books then this might not be your cup of tea but please still try to have a go at it. Find out whether the boy stays on the island or not. Does he go home and live peacefully with his kind and caring parents and family. Please read this magnificent, enticing book called Kensuke's Kingdom.
Kensuke's Kingdom reminds you as a child of the importance of wisdom and that everyone needs a parental figure in life, without them danger lies ahead. It is so full of humility, it is simply a beautiful book.
Kensuke's Kingdom has been a favourite of mine since I was small. The descriptions are so vivid, it is like you are there. The language used is beautiful and really draws you in. Michael, Kensuke and Stella Artois are written and come to life between the pages. Breath taking!
I really enjoyed reading Kensukes Kingdom I read it in year 6 at Primary school. it started me off on my journey of reading Michael morpurgo books. I also think it helped with my English work at school.
Post-war Asia meets Pre-crisis Europe, a must-read-before-I-die book, absolutely unmissable!
This is a great read-aloud book for 5th and 6th graders. I love this story of courage and cooperation!
i love this book i read this book in year 5 and i couldnt wait till the teacher read it to us on monday and thursday in the afternoon