From the Independent:
But whether these particular books are the ones that make children love reading, and which we remember with love, is another matter. Children’s literature is a vast field, ranging as it does from astoundingly sophisticated picture books to Young Adult fiction such as Meg Rosoff’s How I Live Now. However, until very recently it was a genre that conformed to one rule: no matter what the protagonists went through, it must end happily.
*cough* Where the Red Fern Grows, Tuck Everlasting, everything by Hans Christian Andersen *cough*
(Speaking of Andersen, it's funny: I find him mostly unbearable as an adult—precisely because of all of the unhappy endings—but as a KID, I read his stories over and over and over again. I knew they would make me cry, and I loved them for it.)
Also, WOW. The essay ends on a note suggesting that anyone who cheered for Kevin Brooks' win doesn't love children's books: "It is the latest in a trajectory for the Carnegie prize which nobody who loves children’s books can possibly applaud."
So that's nice.
Meanwhile, Frank Cottrell Boyce takes issue with the Carnegie being awarded to a YA novel:
I'm not making a comment on Brooks' book which I haven't read. He is well-regarded and the Carnegie should reward excellence. There is however a problem here. The Carnegie was instituted as a prize for children's fiction. Brooks is a YA writer. YA fiction is extremely lucrative for publishers. It sells well and is low risk as the vast majority of titles - including some brilliant books - are generic (vampires, sick kids, issues etc). Could not some of the publishers who have done so well out of the category stump up for a YA prize instead of predating on one of the few places where children's books aimed at children can still get some attention.
I have no doubt the DRAMA WILL CONTINUE THROUGHOUT THE DAY.
If this all has you chomping at the bit to read it, US readers have a bit of a wait: