This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

The Carnegie Medal - a rant.

The Carnegie Medal I'm talking about isn't the one for life-saving, but one of Britain's most prestigious awards for children's books, the winner of which will be announced today.

Perhaps I should start off by stating my lack of interest. I didn't have an eligible book published during the qualifying period, so if what follows seems sour, it isn't because of any grapes in the mix. 

I've started to read all the books on the shortlist, but given up on several of them. This was largely because I was repelled by their violence.

There's no book on the shortlist which doesn't contain murder and/or the torture of people or animals.

What children's books should or shouldn't contain is not the question here. The problem is that every single book on the Carnegie shortlist (which children are encouraged by the professional librarians' association CILIP to read) contains serious violence.

I'm not sure that any of these books are really suitable for children - if by children you mean anyone under the age of about ten.

And who else could children be?

Word To Use Today: torture. This word is from the Late Latin word torquēre, to twist.

1 comment:

  1. The real problem is, the Carnegie has tended more and more to be awarded to YOUNG ADULT novels. I've been ranting on for DECADES about how there ought to be TWO Carnegies: a Junior and a Senior. Every year books for younger readers get pushed somehow to the margins.