In a controversial blog post that already has (at the time of posting) 13 replies, Shoo Rayner asks (with reference to the Carnegie Medal) “Can children have their prize back please?”
The Carnegie Medal is not given to writers of books for children anymore. The prize has lost its way, caught up in the glamour of hollywood – for that is what Young Adult publishing is really about and also the main attraction for writers of Young Adult fiction.
We seem unable to see children as children anymore and want them to grow up as soon as possible, to witness and learn stuff way beyond their years. The grown ups do their best to stay teenagers, so they are indistinguishable from the young adults.
Children are children – always have been and always will be. When they stop being children, they want to be adults and will want to read books for adults to find out how to be one. Reading Young Adult books only teaches them to stay young adults for the rest of their lives, just like their parents!
Young adults need to grow up to be adults.
Children need to be allowed to be children.
Can children have their prize back please?