Children’s books get real

The Waterstone’s Children’s book prize finalists have been revealed and there’s a notable increase in books dealing with real life issues and settings rather than the fantasy and sci fi leanings that have been popular in recent years.

I think it’s nice to see. While I loved horrors and fantastical books as a child I think I engaged with them in a very escapist way. As a young adult I was able to see the way authors were commenting on universal issues through an imaginary or magical landscape, but when I was younger it was harder to identify the things I might have in common with characters in fantasy books.

Children’s books dabbling in realism, however, had my sympathies totally hooked and more often provided me with the ‘you’re not alone feeling’ that is one of the most amazing things about reading.