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Last Updated: Wednesday August 26 2009 17:12 GMT

Kids' books 'are too depressing'

Adam reading an Anne Fine book

Watch Adam's report

Children's books are too depressing and don't offer kids any hope, according to former children's laureate Anne Fine.

Speaking at the Edinburgh Book Festival, Fine said she thought books which were too realistic might not help kids "develop their aspirations".

She said she didn't want books to be unbelievable, but was worried gloomy books might have a bad effect.

Current children's laureate Andrew Browne disagreed: "There are both types of endings, happier and unhappier."

He told the Times newspaper: "If you look at Jacqueline Wilson, she does deal in gritty realism, but her books don't lack aspiration."

Another children's author, Melvin Burgess, was speaking at the same event as Anne Fine.

He disagreed that kids's books need to offer hope.

"Perhaps the light of hope comes from the reader and not the story," he said.