A Medal for Leroy

Michael Morpurgo

Feiwel & Friends

When Michael’s aunt passes away, she leaves behind a letter that will change everything.

It starts with Michael’s grandfather Leroy, a black officer in World War I who charged into a battle zone not once but three times to save wounded men. His fellow soldiers insisted he deserved special commendations for his bravery but because of the racial barriers, he would go unacknowledged. Now it’s up to Michael to change that.

Inspired by the true story of Walter Tull, the first black officer in the British army, award-winning author Michael Morpurgo delivers a richly layered and memorable story of identity, history, and family.


Read an Excerpt

I GREW UP IN THE 1940S IN LONDON, just after the war. When I was a boy, my friends called me “Poodle.” I didn’t mind that much. I’d have preferred they called me Michael—it was my real name, after all—but they rarely did.
I didn’t have a father, not one that I ever knew, anyway. You don’t miss what you’ve never had, so I didn’t mind that either, not much. There were compensations too. Not having a father made me different. Most of my pals at school lived in two-parent families—a few had three or even


Praise for A Medal for Leroy

"The novel’s elegant structure and quiet, retrospective narration—both Michael’s and Martha’s—bolster this story about the importance of knowing the truth about one’s heritage."--Publishers Weekly 

Praise for Shadow:

“Shadow is the perfect book for classroom teachers looking for a contemporary tale of the old, sad story: war’s devastating ramifications for everyone, including children.”--Horn Book

"Morpurgo humanizes the asylum story through one refugee boy’s viewpoint.”--Booklist

"...heart-rending and heart-affirming…”--Kirkus, starred review

 "Shadow succeeds in evoking empathy and inspiring readers to take a stand for their beliefs." -- School Library Journal

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Michael Morpurgo

  • Michael Morpurgo, a Member of the Order of the British Empire, is the author of over 100 children's books, including An Elephant in the Garden and Shadow. He is also the author of the New York Times bestseller War Horse, which debuted on Broadway in 2011, and is now a film by Steven Spielberg.



Available Formats and Book Details

A Medal for Leroy

Michael Morpurgo