Malorie Blackman, author of the bestselling Noughts and Crosses series, hopes her appointment as the first black Children’s Laureate will help encourage children from a diverse background to read more.
Ms Blackman, who replaces outgoing laureate Julia Donaldson, was presented with the medal and a £15,000 bursary cheque in King’s Place in London today. She told The Independent: “I feel really excited and just a tad daunted. I can’t wait to get cracking.”
The prolific author of child and teenage fiction will use the platform to call on infant and primary school teachers to spend at least 10 minutes every day on storytelling.
“I’d like to ensure every child of a primary school age has a library card. Where the parents haven’t got one for their child, the schools will step in and make sure they have one,” she added.
Author Malorie Blackman is announced as the new children’s laureate, taking over from Julia Donaldson for the next two years. Three competition winners ask her questions submitted to the Guardian’s children’s books site, including what she intends to do as laureate; how to encourage reading; how to avoid writers’ block; and her recipe for a brilliant book
Go to the link to watch the 8-minute video.
And, Hooray for Malorie!
The UK’s outgoing Children’s Laureate:
BRITAIN’S failure to value children’s literature may be an indication that Britons do not value their children, according to Julia Donaldson, the outgoing children’s laureate.
In an interview with The Sunday Times, Donaldson, whose best-known book The Gruffalo has sold millions of copies worldwide, said: “Children’s literature deserves the same respect as adult literature.
“I do feel very strongly in this country that not much store is set by children’s books by the media.
“Is it because we don’t value children? Yes, that does seem likely. In other countries it’s a very different story.”
Although children’s books account for nearly a quarter of all book sales in Britain, Donaldson, whose term of office ends on Tuesday, said less than a fiftieth of review space in printed newspapers was dedicated to them.