Choices for Book Week

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Every year the Children’s Book Week announces not just a shortlist for Book Week Awards, but a notable books list of titles considered worthy of mention. What makes a book week book? It would be useful to explore the process that goes into this. From time to time, concern is expressed that choices have been inappropriate. Certainly, some of the Young Adult choices have lead to fascinating discussions about what constitutes a Young Adult novel. One that certainly promoted intense debate was Sleeping Dogs by Sonya Hartnett. A novel that has been compared with those of Tennessee Williams or John Steinbeck, it brings a gritty and confronting realism to the treatment of family relations. Well worth a read, but challenging. What other texts have been confronting or raised questions of crossing boundaries. Certainly some of the picture books have engendered a debate about what is a picture book, and who is the audience!

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