We are delighted to announce that Malorie Blackman has been selected as the new Waterstones Children’s Laureate. The announcement was made today at a ceremony in central London, as Malorie took over from Julia Donaldson for the next two years.
The title of Children’s Laureate is awarded to an acclaimed author or illustrator in acknowledgment of their outstanding contribution to their field, and Malorie is the eighth recipient of this honour.
Malorie said on her appointment: ‘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 twenty 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.’
Malorie’s focus for her two year appointment will be to encourage teachers and parents to spend at least ten minutes a day reading with their pupils and children in the hope of getting ‘more children reading more’.
Random House Children’s Publishers have been working with Malorie for many years, and her editor Annie Eaton had this to say: ‘Malorie has been a joy to work with, ever since I first met her back in 1991, to discuss the manuscript of HACKER, one of the first books we published on the Doubleday children’s list. She is such a wonderful storyteller, able to turn her hand to different genres and age-groups, and always so engaging and interesting when talking about her books, whether to audiences of children or adults. Like her books, she is always fizzing with enthusiasm – and she has one of the most infectious laughs I’ve ever heard. She will make a fantastic Children’s Laureate. She has strong opinions, and voices them intelligently and diplomatically. Above all, she is passionate about young people reading!’
Malorie was presented with the specially commissioned solid silver Children’s Laureate medal and a £15,000 bursary cheque by Channel 4 News anchor Krishnan Guru-Murthy, a member of the Children’s Laureate 2013–2015 selection committee, who commented: ‘Malorie Blackman’s stories are gripping, daring and 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.’
Our most heartfelt congratulations to Malorie for this well-deserved honour.