So, we’re all waiting for the new Children’s Laureate to be announced next week. Malorie Blackman is about to end her two year term, and we’ve all enjoyed having her. Without her, there’d be no YALC!
But she’s encouraged the new Laureate to ‘speak their mind.’
Malorie wrote in The Telegraph about her abuse that she received for certain campaigns she ran in her time as Laureate, including racist abuse she received after a news outlet misquoted her when discussing the lack of diversity in children’s books.
The news outlet used a provocative misquotation as a headline about her thoughts, and she claims abuse came towards her ‘thick and fast.’
In The Telegraph, she wrote, “In a television interview I said that diversity in our children’s books should include the adventures of disabled children, travellers and gipsies, LGBT teens, different cultures, classes, colours, religions… It shouldn’t be a token gesture, nor do such stories need to be “issue-based”. One provocative misquotation was later used as a headline, and threatening tweets and racist abuse came flying thick and fast in my direction.”
Malorie also says that she received abuse for other campaigns, including Project Remix which she ran with Movellas, and her support for saving libraries.
On her support for libraries, she said, “I have encountered those who feel that libraries have served their purpose and are no longer needed… There are those who consider them a soft target when it comes to local authority budget cuts. In certain political quarters, there is a refusal to see that our public library service needs active protection.”
Despite all of that though, Malorie said she loved her time as Laureate, and she said, “I look back at all the children I’ve met and I count myself as incredibly fortunate.”
The new Children’s Laureate is announced at a ceremony in London on the 9th June, and I for one am excited to know who it will be.