Malorie Blackman, the bestselling author of the highly acclaimed and award-winning Noughts and Crosses teen series has been crowned the Waterstones Children's Laureate for 2013 - 2015. Blackman takes over from outgoing Children's Laureate Julia Donaldson and was presented with her medal at a ceremony at King's Place in central London on Tuesday 4th June 2013.
The role of Children's Laureate is awarded once every two years to an eminent author or illustrator of children's books to celebrate outstanding achievement in their field. She is the eighth author to be bestowed with the honour.
Blackman 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 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."
As the Waterstones Children's Laureate for 2013 - 2015 Blackman will call on teachers and parents to spend at least ten minutes per day sharing a book with their pupils and children in an impassioned bid to get 'more children reading more'.
Drawing on her years of experience talking to her teen readers, Blackman will be working to make reading irresistible' for teenagers, encouraging them to explore a range of literature genre and forms, from short stories to graphic novels. She will also be encouraging them to make their own creative responses to books, using a range of expressive mediums, to include music - Blackman was referenced in Tinie Tempah's song Written in the Stars' - art, film, drama, animation, poetry, and spoken word.
Blackman, who started her working life as a computer programmer, is passionate about the role that technology plays in making literature come alive for a generation of digitally-aware young people.