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Last Updated: Friday, 27 May, 2005, 10:08 GMT 11:08 UK
Wilson is new Children's Laureate
Jacqueline Wilson
Wilson's books have been turned in plays and TV shows
Author Jacqueline Wilson is the new Children's Laureate, recognising her contribution to literature for young readers around the world.

Wilson, whose books include The Story of Tracy Beaker and Girls in Love, holds the distinction of being the most borrowed author in UK libraries.

She will hold the position of Children's Laureate for two years and wins a 10,000 bursary.

Previous holders were Quentin Blake, Anne Fine and Michael Morpurgo.

The appointment of a Children's Laureate recognises and highlights the importance of exceptional children's authors in creating the readers of tomorrow.

Wilson, who was selected by various peers in the world of children's literature to take the role of Children's Laureate, told BBC Breakfast she was "thrilled" with her new post.

Reading aloud

"My job for the next two years is to promote the cause of children's literature, make it more high profile, encourage every child in the country to read more," said Wilson.

"I am going to try very hard to encourage families, schools, hospitals and children's homes to start reading aloud to very young children.

"I think if you get a child interested in books before they can read themselves that will get them hooked on books."

Wilson has sold 30 million books worldwide but still manages to personally reply to every child who writes to her.

"This is a golden age of children's literature, no matter what your child is interested in there is a book out that will turn them into a big reader."

Social issues

One of Wilson's bestselling books is The Illustrated Mum, which was turned into a Bafta-winning TV drama starring Michelle Collins.

Wilson's books tend to deal with often difficult social subjects shunned in other children's books such as divorce and bereavement.

Tracy Beaker, which has also been transformed in a popular CBBC drama, deals with children in care.

Many of Wilson's books have also been adapted for the stage, including Midnight and Bad Girls.

Her award was handed out at a ceremony in London and announced by Arts Council chairman Christopher Frayling.




BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Jacqueline Wilson speaks about her hopes as Laureate



SEE ALSO:
Wilson named top library author
11 Feb 05 |  Entertainment
Children's laureate named
14 May 03 |  Entertainment
Wilson's gripping social tales
26 May 05 |  Entertainment


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