Ten-Minute Blog Break - 1st July

The Bunker Diary has been very much in the news this week. I knew that my teenage daughter had read the book and disliked it, so I asked her why. I expected a reply that cited the darkness and brutality of the story, but instead she said: "The character arcs were too flat."
I guess this is what comes of having a writer and a librarian as parents!

Nicola Morgan has written an eloquent post that aims to sidestep the Bunker Diary controversy and focus on why we shouldn't fear bleak books for teenagers. Ewa Jozefkowicz also finds inspiration from the book in her blog post considering the nature of happy endings.

Space on the Bookshelf seem to be sneaking into this column rather regularly of late. This time, their appearance is because of another informative award round-up, analysing the non-fiction shortlist for the Booktrust Best Book Awards. Children's non-fiction doesn't always get the coverage it deserves, so it's good to see awards like this celebrating it.

My wife has been pestering me for literally years to visit the Keswick pencil museum - to the extent that I've renamed it "Chessington World of Pencils" and turned it into a family joke. But Layn Marlow has no such prejudices; as a self-proclaimed "pencil nerd", she's blogged about her visit to the museum, and may even have managed to change my mind!

Everywhere I look - either at home or at work - there are stacks and stacks of books. But it hasn't always been that way, and I enjoyed Miriam Halahmy's reminiscences for The Edge, about a childhood where books were in rather short supply, and how she grew to cherish the few that she owned.

Finally, Sam Zuppardi often posts a weekly illustration, but this week he chooses to pair it with a lovely piece of observational storytelling. Read all about The Bubble Man.


A SCBWI member since 2009, Nick Cross is a former Undiscovered Voices winner who currently writes children's short fiction for Stew Magazine.

Nick really should write another blog post, but until then, you can enjoy his recent fairy tale on the "dangers" of fairy tales: The Improbable Prince.

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