2013 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture: Michael Morpurgo

The Arbuthnot Honor Lecture: "War Boy to War Horse"
The May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lectureship
Ticketing Procedures and Procurement
Learn More about Michael Morpurgo
Media and Public Relations Inquiries
Visiting Rochester
Directions to Nazareth College
Lodging Choices
Accessibility and Special Accommodations for People with Disabilities
Book Sales and "Meet and Greet"


Michael Morpurgo
"War Boy to War Horse"
Thursday, May 16, 2013.  7 p.m.
Linehan Chapel in the Golisano Academic Center,
Nazareth College, 4243 East Avenue, Rochester NY 14618

Photo of Michael Morpurgo

The Youth Services Section and Nazareth College were selected by the Association for Library Service to Children of the American Library Association as the hosts and site for the 2013 Arbuthnot Honor Lecture which will be delivered by Michael Morpurgo at Nazareth College on Thursday, May 16.  The award-winning author of Kensuke’s Kingdom and War Horse will talk about his life writing and the journey from being a Second World War baby to becoming Britain’s Children’s Laureate and the success of War Horse on stage and screen.

Born in England in 1943, Michael Morpurgo was teaching when he discovered the magic of storytelling and began writing.  With more than 100 titles for young people, his books are noted for their imagination, power, and grace.  War Horse has enthralled both theater goers who have attended the play in London and across North America and movie audiences that watched Steven Spielberg’s award-winning 2011 film.

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 The May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lectureship

The lecture celebrates May Hill Arbuthnot (1884-1969), who served as a strong voice for children’s literature.  Her textbook for educators and librarians, Children and Books, was first published in 1947.  With educator William Scott Gray, she created reading textbooks, the Curriculum Foundation Readers, which became better known as the “Dick and Jane” series.  For more than 40 years, the stories of Dick and Jane taught millions of children to read with simple vocabulary, warmly drawn pictures, and endearing plots.

Established in 1969, the lecture series has only once before been presented in New York State, in Flushing in 2002.  Each year a lecturer is chosen who will prepare a paper considered to be a significant contribution to the field of children’s literature.  The paper is delivered as a lecture and is subsequently published in Children & Libraries, the journal of ALSC.

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Photo of May Hill Arbuthnot

Ticketing Procedures and Procurement

Admission to the May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture is only by presentation of a free ticket.  General admission tickets are now available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Please print and submit the Ticket Reservation Form found here to pre-order your ticket(s).  This form entitles you to a maximum of two tickets.  We encourage you to please make a copy of this completed form your files.

Each ticket request is to be accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope.  You will receive an e-mail confirmation of your ticket request for the Lecture from our registrar.  Tickets will be mailed beginning in mid-April.

All seats are general admission.  The doors will open at 6 p.m., one hour before the start of the Lecture.

Please note: seating is limited in the Linehan Chapel.  An overflow seating area (GAC-38) will be offered in the same building as the Chapel where the Lecture will be shown on a large projection screen via live feed.  Please check your tickets carefully when you receive them; they will indicate whether the seats are in the Linehan Chapel or GAC-38 on the lower level of the Golisano Academic Center.

Ticket requests will be filled in the order in which they are received.  No ticket requests can be accepted after Friday, May 3, 2013.

We can only honor individual requests for tickets.  Large groups can be reserved in the overflow seating area where the Lecture will be shown on a projection screen.  For this option, inquiries should be directed to Lisa C. Wemett, Chair, Local Arrangements Committee for the 2013 Arbuthnot Honor Lecture: (315) 986-3949 or via e-mail at lisawemett@frontiernet.net.

Special Accommodations Requests:  The Golisano Academic Center, the Linehan Chapel, and overflow seating area are handicapped accessible.  Accessible parking spots and building entrances will be clearly marked on campus.  (See “Accessibility and Special Accommodations for People with Disabilities” below for campus maps.)  The Linehan Chapel is equipped with an audio loop for the hearing impaired.  The Ticket Reservation Form contains details concerning accommodations for persons with disabilities.  Please note that all requests for specific accommodations must be made no later than Wednesday, May 1, 2013.

For further information on the Arbuthnot Honor Lecture tickets, please call (585) 328-6658. Thank you for your interest in Michael Morpurgo and the 2013 Arbuthnot Honor Lecture!

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Learn More about Michael Morpurgo

Hermione Hoby of The Telegraph has said “Morpurgo was a teacher before he was a writer, and it’s easy to see how he kept whole classrooms rapt.  That he chose not to restrict his stories to the classroom, but to write them down too, has brought insight, pleasure, and excitement to millions.”

War Horse cover Michael Morpurgo O.B.E. is one of Great Britain’s best-loved writers for children and teens.  Some of his best selling novels include Kensuke’s Kingdom (1999), Private Peaceful (2003), An Elephant in the Garden (2011), Running Wild (2009), and The Butterfly Lion (1996).   Morpurgo is, in his own words, “oldish, married with three children, and a grandfather six times over.”  He attended schools in London, Sussex, and Canterbury and later studied English and French at London University.  He became a teacher in a primary school in Kent.  It was there that he discovered what he wanted to do.

“We had to read the children a story every day and my lot were bored by the book I was reading.  I decided I had to do something and told them the kind of story I used to tell my kids—it was like a soap opera, and they focused on it.  I could see there was magic in it for them, and realized there was magic in it for me.”
Kensuke's Kingdom cover

In 1976, he and his wife Clare established the charity “Farms for City Children.”  In the last thirty years, over 50,000 children from urban areas of the United Kingdom have spent a week at one of the three working farms, expanding their horizons while living together and sharing chores, feeding the sheep and milking cows.  In 1999, the Morpurgos were publicly recognized for their work when the M.B.E. (Member of the British Empire) was conferred on them for services to youth.

Morpurgo is an Officer of the Order of the British Empire.  He served as Britain’s third Children’s Laureate from 2003 to 2005, a role which took him all over the country to inspire children with the joy of reading stories.

In 2007, Morpurgo’s novel War Horse was adapted for the stage by the National Theatre and then transferred to the New London Theatre in the West End in 2009.  Five years later, it continues to play to packed houses with audience members of all ages.  The story was turned into a blockbuster film by Steven Spielberg in 2011, which propelled Michael Morpurgo to the status of a household name.

“For me, the greater part of writing is daydreaming, dreaming the dream of my story until it hatches out—the writing down of it I always find hard.  But I love finishing it, then holding the book in my hand and sharing my dream with my readers.”

Michael Morpurgo’s official Web site

Here you may learn more about Morpurgo, his book titles, news about his latest releases, events where he will be appearing, and information on his interests in many charities.  There are resources for teachers, including work sheets, book jackets, and posters of Michael Morpurgo’s books that can be downloaded.

Background information on Michael Morpurgo’s writing

British Literature Council 

An article from 2009 by Elizabeth O’Reilly that provides both a biography of Morpurgo and some critical perspective on the themes and issues explored in his titles.

Interviews with Michael Morpurgo

The Man With the Child in His Eyes” by Sophie Elmhirst.  New Statesman.  November 17, 2011.

“To be idealistic, Morpurgo knows, is ‘a hopelessly impractical thing,’ but it is also what makes him the writer that he is. His books are gentle, free from cynicism, almost naive in their hope for a world where good will out.”

Hay Festival 2011: Michael Morpurgo Interview” by Hermione Hoby.  The Telegraph, May 30, 2011.

War Horse writer Michael Morpurgo talks about why it is important to reflect the world as it is, no matter how grisly.

War Horse is a Story I Had to Write.”  London Evening Standard, March 31, 2009.

Michael Morpurgo talks about how he came to write War Horse.  “With the real possibility now growing in my head that I might write a story about the First World War, not from one side or the other, but from the perspective of a horse that is used by both armies, so that it could be a story of the universal suffering of that war, or any war, I began my research.”

Running Wild with Michael Morpurgo” by Debra Lau Whelen.  This article originally appears in School Library Journal’s Extra Helping.  November 4, 2009.

Former Children’s Laureate Michael Morpurgo talks about his latest book Running Wild and his passions: the world’s natural habitats, libraries, and reaching reluctant readers.

Biographies of Michael Morpurgo

Michael Morpurgo: War Child to War Horse by Maggie Fergusson.
In a unique collaboration, Maggie Fergusson explores Michael Morpurgo’s life through seven biographical chapters, to which he responds with seven stories, “one for each of the seven decades of my life.”

Dear Mr. Morpingo: Inside the World of Michael Morpurgo
by Geoff Fox.
A look at the realm of this award-winning author, his childhood, how he began to write, and the people, the stories, and the landscapes that have influenced his work.

Watch some videos of Michael Morpurgo on YouTube

Michael Morpurgo's 5 Most Asked Questions

Find out answers to Michael Morpurgo’s most asked questions including 'Are the stories true?', 'Where do you get your ideas from?', ‘How long does it take to produce a book?’, and 'What is your favorite book?'

Michael Morpurgo interview at the National Army Museum UK

Michael Morpurgo, the author of War Horse, talks to Clare Balding about an oil painting of the story's hero, “Joey” as part of the “War Horse: Fact & Fiction” exhibition running at the National Army Museum, London until March 2013.

Even more

Want to keep up with Michael Morpurgo?  Create a Google Alert for “Michael Morpurgo” and you can receive a weekly list of the latest links to news articles about his works, travel, theater productions of his books, and more.

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Media and Public Relations Inquiries

For interviews with Michael Morpurgo, please send requests by e-mail to Philippa Perry, Philippa Perry Associates, at pnlp@dircon.co.uk.

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Visiting Rochester

Once named the “Flour City” for all the mills along the falls of the Genesee, now Rochester embraces “The Flower City” as its moniker.  As the buds of spring burst forth into the show we’ve all been waiting for throughout the long winter, there is much to do and enjoy.  Take a short walk to explore the Genesee Valley Greenway or the Erie Canal Heritage Trail as the world turns green again.

Use the Arbuthnot Lecture as the starting point for an enjoyable spring weekend in Rochester, with easy access to a myriad of regional attractions including Rochester’s famous Lilac Festival. VisitRochester’s multifaceted Web page (www.visitrochester.com) offers you planning materials and videos of local attractions to help you design a weekend just for you.

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Directions to Nazareth College

Nazareth College is located in Rochester, New York, bordering Pittsford, a suburb of 27,000 people situated on the Erie Canal.

Nazareth College is less than 20 minutes from the Greater Rochester International Airport (via I-390 South to I-590 South).  The airport is within a 15-minute commute to most parts of metropolitan Rochester.  Its eight major and twelve regional airlines provide about 150 flights per day to nineteen cities.

Driving time to Rochester from other major metropolitan areas is approximately eight hours from Boston, Massachusetts, Detroit, Michigan, and Washington, DC.  Rochester is seven hours or less from Baltimore, Maryland; Cleveland, Ohio; Hartford, Connecticut; New York City, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Toronto, Canada, is just 3½ hours away.

Amtrak offers four trains daily going from Albany to Rochester.

By automobile, Nazareth College is 12 miles (19 minutes) off I-390 North coming from the NYS Thruway Exit 46.  Coming from the east and taking Thruway Exit 45, the campus is 9 miles (13 minutes) along route I-490 West.

Driving directions to the Nazareth College campus can be found here, including directions from the Greater Rochester International Airport.  This link also can provide more specific directions by putting in your starting address.

All attendees traveling by car will be able to park conveniently on campus, free of charge, in one of three lots adjacent to the Golisano Academic Center (Lot Q, Lot R or Lot L).

A detailed map of the Nazareth College campus can be found here: http://www.naz.edu/campus-map

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Lodging Choices

There are many alternatives for lodging in Rochester, but the Local Arrangements Committee for the Arbuthnot Lecture has arranged for special room rates at three properties.

Holiday Inn Rochester Airport

People choosing to also participate in the YSS Spring Conference on Friday, May 17, at the Holiday Inn Rochester Airport may want to stay at the Holiday Inn.  Via the expressways (I-390 and I-590), this hotel is approximately 20 minutes from the Nazareth College campus.

Directions: The Holiday Inn Rochester Airport is located at 911 Brooks Avenue, Rochester, New York 14624.  It is on the west side of Rochester, directly off I-390 at Exit 18A.  Exit 46 is the closest exit off the Thruway, I-90.

All room reservations at the Holiday Inn Rochester Airport must be made by Thursday, April 25, 2013, to receive the room rates below and must be guaranteed by a credit card or advance deposit.  The Holiday Inn Rochester Airport accepts all major credit cards.  After this date, reservations will be taken on a space available basis only.

Overnight accommodations must be booked directly with the Holiday Inn Rochester Airport.   (800) HOLIDAY or (585) 328-6000.  Fax: (585) 328-1012.

If you wish to make reservations by telephone, please state that you are attending the New York Library Association’s Youth Services Section Conference to receive the special room rates:  Standard Room $109 (single or double).  Rooms may also be booked online by logging onto www.hirochesterairport.com.  Use the code NYL to receive our special group rate.  A confirmation number will appear for your records.

Rates are subject to 8% local sales tax and 6% occupancy tax unless the guest presents a valid tax exemption form for New York State at check-in.  All individual reservations have until 6 p.m. on the day of arrival to cancel with no penalty.  (Cancellation later than 6 p.m. will require a charge for one night plus tax.)

Check in: 3 p.m.   Check out: 12 noon.

Due to this specially negotiated group rate, the “Kids Eat Free” policy does not apply.  All parking is free for overnight guests.  Complimentary shuttle service is available 24 hours a day for the Greater Rochester International Airport.

The Renaissance Del Monte Lodge Hotel and Spa

The Renaissance Del Monte Lodge Hotel and Spa is located at 41 North Main Street, Pittsford, New York 14534.  (585) 381-9900.  RenaissanceDelMonte.com.  It is less than one mile from the Nazareth College campus (4243 East Avenue, Rochester NY 14618).

The Del Monte Lodge is an upscale boutique full-service hotel overlooking the historic Erie Canal in Pittsford.  The Erie Grill is their on-site restaurant which presents the finest in regional cuisine.  Several other coffee shops and restaurants in the village of Pittsford serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner are within a short walk or drive of the hotel.  The Del Monte Lodge offers a smoke-free environment.  The hotel has free on-site parking.

You may telephone the hotel’s reservation line directly at (585) 248-9443 to reserve your room.  You may also use the Marriott reservations toll-free line at (866) 237-5979.  Please let the reservation agent know you are associated with the New York Library Association.  The group code is libliba.  The group rate for standard rooms is $209 per night.  This rate is available from Wednesday, May 15, through Sunday, May 19.  Reservations for The Del Monte Lodge must be received no later than Wednesday, April 17, 2013.  The reservation must be guaranteed by a credit card or advance deposit.

Hotel room rates are subject to applicable state and local taxes (currently 14%) unless a New York State tax exempt form is presented upon check-in.  If booking online, use this link which is specific to the New York Library Association room block.

Radisson Hotel Rochester Riverside

On Saturday, May 18, following the Arbuthnot Honor Lecture, the Greater Rochester Teen Book Festival will be held on the Nazareth College campus from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.  For more information including updates on authors, schedule of the day, and resources for teachers and librarians, visit www.teenbookfestival.org.

If you would like to have accommodations where the Teen Book Festival authors will be staying, the Radisson Hotel Rochester Riverside will be offering a “Teen Book Festival Fan Rate” of $123 a night with complimentary parking in the attached garage.  All guest rooms include a free $10 gift card to the on-site restaurant, Legends.
The Radisson’s address is 120 East Main Street, Rochester, NY 14604.  It is 15 minutes from the Rochester International Airport, just off Route 490, in the heart of downtown, overlooking the historic Genesee River.  It has 460 guest rooms and a full-service restaurant.  There is a complimentary shuttle from the airport.
Call the hotel at (585) 546-6400 to book your room or use the Radisson Web site: http://www.radisson.com/teenbookfest. You may also call the Radisson reservations number, (800) 967-9033.  Please state you want the Teen Book Festival Fan Rate.  Reservations must be received by April 17, 2013, to receive the discounted room rate.  Any reservations after that date will be taken if space is available.

Please note that no TBF activities take place at the hotel.  The Radisson Hotel Rochester Riverside is 7 miles from the Nazareth College campus, approximately a 20 minute drive.

Additional hotels
Additional information on lodging in Rochester convenient to the Nazareth College campus can be found here.

More than a dozen lodging options are listed, each with a street address, telephone number, and the web address of the lodging, along with an indication of how far it is from the campus.

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Accessibility and Special Accommodations for People with Disabilities

Reserved handicapped accessible parking is available at Nazareth College at the north end of the Golisano Academic Center.  A map with details of the various campus parking lots, accessibility, and their relationship to the campus buildings is available here.

Lot Q is just north of the Golisano Academic Center and Linehan Chapel.  Accessible parking is on the north side of the building, indicated by an asterisk on the parking map.

There are elevators inside the Golisano Academic Center north entrance to bring guests to the Linehan Chapel from the ground floor.  The Linehan Chapel is equipped with an audio loop for the hearing impaired.  Please see the Ticket Reservation Form for details on making requests for accommodations for people with disabilities.  Requests need to be made by Wednesday, May 1, 2013.

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Book Sales and "Meet and Greet"

Following the Arbuthnot Honor Lecture, the audience will have an opportunity to meet Michael Morpurgo and if you bring your camera, he will be happy to have his picture taken.

Please note: due to an arm injury, Michael Morpurgo is unable to personally sign copies of his books. Printed bookplates with his signature will be available for your purchases.

The Nazareth College Bookstore will be the vendor for the Arbuthnot Lecture book sale. Books will be for sale in the Natapow Reception Hall, in the foyer of the Linehan Chapel, one hour prior to the Lecture and again at the conclusion of the Lecture. State sales tax will be charged on these purchases by individuals. The bookstore accepts credit cards.

Every effort will be made to provide enough copies of Mr. Morpurgo’s many titles to be purchased at the Lecture. The College Bookstore cannot guarantee, however, that any single title will be in stock at the time you wish to purchase it at the event.

We encourage you to purchase your books in advance (prior to May 1). Your purchases will be available at a “will call” table the evening of the Lecture upon presentation of either your receipt (sent to you via e-mail) or a photo ID.

Pre-Ordering Michael Morpurgo Books

The Nazareth College Bookstore has created a “course” for the 2013 Arbuthnot Lecture. In this online order feature, you may select titles by Michael Morpurgo, put them in your “shopping cart,” pay for them, and then pick up the books the night of the Lecture in the Natapow Reception Hall, in the foyer of the Linehan Chapel on the first floor of the Golisano Academic Center.

Some aspects of the bookstore template may be confusing, so here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

The link says “Your Course Materials.” Am I enrolling in a course at Nazareth College?
No, the Arbuthnot Honor Lecture is not a college course; it is a one evening lecture. The bookstore template defaults to “Your Course Materials” as this mechanism is used by all courses on campus where students may pre-order their textbooks.

Are the books marked “used” actually available?
Unfortunately with this template, the “Used” option cannot be eliminated. All materials you order will be new books.

Do the prices of the new books reflect a discount on the list price of the titles?
Your purchases are tax exempt. The “pick-up at the store” option also does not add any extra charges to your total bill.

How do I know my Web site order was successfully processed?
Shortly after you submit your order, you should receive an e-mail order confirmation. Once the bookstore had processed your order, you should receive an additional e-mail which should include an 8-digit order number and the total amount charged.

Where do I pick up my books?
Although the sales template gives you the option to “pick-up at the store,” these books will be waiting for you at a special “will call” table in the Natapow Reception Hall, in the foyer of the Linehan Chapel on the first floor of the Golisano Academic Center when you arrive the night of the Lecture. They will not be at the Nazareth College Bookstore. You will need either a printed copy of your receipt (which you will receive via e-mail) or a photo ID to pick up your order at the “will call” table.

How can I tell if the book is paperback or hardcover?
Many of Michael's titles are only readily available in paperback or hardcover. Two are available in either format: War Horse and Private Peaceful. These options are listed separately on the Web site. Look for the descriptor "Hardcover" in the title field of any appropriate books.

How may I pay for my books?
The bookstore accepts all major credit cards, PayPal, and Barnes & Noble gift cards for these online purchases. The Web site is the most safe and secure method of ordering, but if you would prefer to place a telephone order, you may call the bookstore with your name, billing address, and credit card number: (585) 586-2690. See the details on the order form.

To insure that you will get the titles you want to have, the Bookstore suggests that you pre-order books with them no later than Wednesday, May 1, 2013. Please note: the Web site will not be available after May 1st.

Please follow this link to order Michael Morpurgo titles through the Nazareth College Bookstore’s Web site.

If you wish to have the books shipped to you prior to the event, pre-payment is also required and the order will be subject to a shipping charge (select the “ship-to” option when ordering on the web). Please note that these discounted titles are only for audience members attending the Arbuthnot Lecture in Rochester.

Please remember:
Due to an arm injury, Michael Morpurgo is unable to personally sign copies of his books. Printed bookplates with his signature will be available for your purchases. Following the Arbuthnot Honor Lecture, the audience will have an opportunity to “meet and greet” Mr. Morpurgo. If you bring your camera, he will be happy to have his picture taken.

Please e-mail the bookstore manager Frank Tallarico with any inquiries about availability of titles, payment, taxes, and shipping costs.

List of available titles:
An Elephant in the Garden
Farm Boy
Kasper, Prince of Cats
Kensuke’s Kingdom
Private Peaceful
Waiting for Anya
War Horse

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