British writer, Malorie Blackman has been named the United Kingdom children’s laureate. She is the first black woman to be appointed to the position which is awarded in Britain once every two years to a distinguished writer or illustrator of children’s books..
Blackman has received numerous prizes for her work over the years, including the Red House Children’s Book Award and the Fantastic Fiction Award. In 2005 she was presented with the Eleanor Farjeon Award in recognition of her contribution to children’s books, and in 2008 she received an OBE for her services to children’s literature. The following is from the Guardian:
This week Blackman, now 51, was named the eighth children’s laureate, a position she inherits from mega-selling Gruffalo author Julia Donaldson and will hold for two years. At the announcement of her appointment in London on Tuesday, a few days before publication of her latest novel for teenagers, Noble Conflict, she looked delighted. “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.
Blackman is also the first black laureate and a forceful advocate for black and ethnic minority children’s needs and rights. In making up her mind to write about black people in 1980s London, she grabbed a baton previously held by African-American pioneers including Alice Walker and Maya Angelou, who in the 1970s and 80s did so much to popularise writing about black people’s lives. Read more
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