It’s About Time! Malorie Blackman named Children’s Laureate

4th Jun 2013

Malorie Blackman named children's laureate

Blackman, author of the fabulous dystopian Noughts and Crosses series, Pigheart Boy, Whizziwig, Animal Avengers  and dozens of other children’s novels and stories, is known for not shying away from ethical and moral questions in her work: she tackles racism, mental illness, alcoholism, animal testing, poverty and bullying.

She’s known too for being held in great esteem by her young readers – and those who’ve grown up. Tiny Tempah mentioned her in his single Written in the Stars as a fellow “writer from the ghetto”.

She will be in the post until 2015 and has vowed to use her time to get more children reading and to continue the support for libraries shown by Julia Donaldson, the previous laureate, saying “I would never have become an author if it hadn’t been for my local library as a child.”

Encouraging use of technology will also be high on her list of priorities – she started her career as a computer programmer and is keen to get young people involved in the role technology plays in making literature come alive.

News anchor Krishnan Guru-Murphy presented Blackman with the Children’s Laureate medal and a cheque for £15,000  at a ceremony at King’s Place in central London earlier this morning.

Gury-Murphy, a member of the Children’s Laureate 2013-15 selection committee, told The Bookseller  that Blackman’s stories “reach out to young people who might otherwise spend all their time on video games and the internet. The panel are unanimous in believing she will be a brilliant and passionate Children’s Laureate.”

They have our agreement on that one.

Rebecca Winson