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Miss Howden, Aldridge School

Beck

A harrowing but arguably informative book, Beck really does bring to light the issue of what age actually constitutes as 'young adult' literature. The teenaged central character is the only aspect which associates the text with a young audience; the themes are overly mature and this book is essentially an adult novel in disguise.

With distressing (sometimes graphic) scenes of emotional and physical abuse, the book is an unsuitable choice for the Carnegie shortlist. An award which encourages shadow-reading from children as young as eleven years old should not have selected a book of such a questionable nature. Particularly as the decision from school librarians and teachers to remove the book from the reading scheme (in the younger pupils' best interests) will leave many disappointed.

The touching decision of Meg Rosoff to complete Mal Peet's book does perhaps deserve some literary recognition, regrettably the Carnegie Award was not the way in which to commemorate this.

Posted on: 23rd March 2017 at 10:28 pm

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