It was announced last week that Malorie Blackman, author of teen Y/A fiction, and most well known for her Noughts and Crosses series, will be the new children’s laureate.
Blackman has taken over the role from Julia Donaldson.
Unlike the poet Laureate, who holds the title for ten years (before Andrew Motion held the post it was a post for the poet’s lifetime), the children’s laureate holds the post for two years.
Blackman, as well as being children’s laureate, is an author ambassador for the National Literacy Trust, which champions children’s reading. Blackman is also an outspoken supporter of the UK library system and campaigns on their behalf.
Blackman is a passionate advocate of making reading accessible to all children, and making reading interesting to all children. As well as continuing Julia Donaldson’s work of championing libraries, she also aims to promote reading within the family, encouraging children to read with their parents for at least ten minutes a day.
Blackman is also a great believer in promoting ethnic diversity in children’s literature, as part of her remit to make reading interesting and relevant to ‘all’ children, whatever their background or ethnicity.
She is also passionate about technology and using technology to make advances in children’s literacy.
She has spoken of her desire to make reading ‘irresistible’ to children.
She is quoted as saying:
‘I am honoured to have been chosen as the eighth Children’s Laureate. A love of books has opened so many doors for me. Stories have inspired me and taught me to aspire. I’ve been a professional author for over 20 years, so I feel now is the time to give something back. I hope to instil in every child I meet my love and enthusiasm for reading and stories. And as I would never have become an author if it hadn’t been for my local library as a child, I intend to continue Julia Donaldson’s amazing, indefatigable work advocating for our nation’s public library service.’