Malorie Blackman has written the seventh short story in a range celebrating Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary.
Puffin Books have been publishing the 11-part series as ebooks every month since January 23, with the final installment due to arrive on November 23, the date of the Eleventh Doctor’s anniversary adventure.
For July, newly appointed Children’s Laureate Blackman has contributed The Ripple Effect, which sees the Seventh Doctor and his companion, Ace, battle Daleks with a difference – they’re peace-loving.
A teaser for the book says that upon encountering these friendly Daleks, the Doctor, “ever suspicious of his arch-enemies’ motives, learns of a threat that could literally tear the universe apart”.
Blackman, who has “loved Doctor Who” since childhood, said that she agreed immediately when she was asked to be part of the anniversary series.
Here is the link to the original Telegraph interview with Malorie Blackman as summarised by MailOnline in a previous post:
Malorie Blackman, the newly-appointed children’s laureate and writer of teenage fiction, said youngsters ought to read about sex within the safe confines of a book rather than through “innuendo and porn”.
She told the Telegraph giving children challenging themes would allow them to process it within a “safe” context rather than turning to damaging and “brutalising” images.
Her arguments were echoed by author and Carnegie Medal-winner Melvin Burgess, who said there should be “no actual limits” to the subjects covered in teenage fiction.
Blackman, author of Pig Heart Boy, Noble Conflict and the Naughts and Crosses series, said it was important to remember teenagers would get their information “from somewhere”.
“The thing about it is that if you have books for teenagers, you present these ideas within a kind of safe setting,” she said.
This Mail Online piece refers to an interview in the Daily Telegraph – I am trying to find a link to the original piece… Meanwhile, here is the Mail’s summary:
Children’s laureate calls for more sex scenes in books for teenagers to stop them turning to ‘brutalising’ online porn to learn more
Malorie Blackman said that fictional sex allows children to learn safely
She called for books that deal with relationships and first-time sex
The Pig Heart Boy author was made children’s laureate earlier this month
Her calls were echoed by fellow author Melvin Burgess
A long profile of the new Children’s Laureate, by Susanna Rustin, in which Malorie Blackman pledges to pay more attention to teenagers than her predecessors
"I think younger children have been incredibly well served by the laureates we’ve had, but maybe teenagers haven’t had as much of a look-in, so I’m looking forward to redressing the balance," she said.
Good to see the new Laureate’s role and words being listened to and taken seriously from the off.
In this interesting piece, Howard Jacobson considers two of Malorie Blackman’s statements:
The first is: “I still remember feeling I was totally invisible in the world of literature.” And the second: “I understand you need to learn about Henry VIII, but when I was young I wanted to learn about something that felt more relevant.”
Jacobson politely but convincingly picks these statements apart to reveal a profound disagreement.