Thursday, October 22, 2009

Mal Peet and The Guardian Award

The popular writer for young adults has won the Guardian Award for Children’s Fiction with his novel Exposure, the third book featuring cynical sports journalist Paul Faustino

Walker Books congratulates Mal Peet on his recent award success for his blistering account of celebrity and the power of the media in making and breaking people’s lives. Mal Peet is no stranger to awards success, having won the Carnegie Medal for his novel Tamar and the Branford Boase and Smarties Award for Keeper, his first Paul Faustino novel. Inspired by Othello, Exposure is an engrossing, revealing read for older teenagers and adults, tackling issues of race, fame, poverty and greed. Mal Peet's writing appeals to a wide audience, but it has been particularly praised for its ability to appeal to male teenagers. Believing that writing for teenagers does not necessarily mean writing about teenagers, Mal's cast of characters are primarily adult. The quiet star at the centre of this novel, as with his previous books Keeper and Penalty, is Paul Faustino (who some might say bears a few similarities to the author himself!).

On his recent Guardian award win, Mal says,

“I’m totally thrilled to win the Guardian prize. I’ve been buying the newspaper for 35 years, so I’ve worked for it! In fact, if you subtract the prize money from what I’ve spent at the newsagents, the Guardian is way ahead on the deal! I don’t mind – the Guardian prize is very special. It’s judged by other writers so it’s pretty likely that if you win it, you deserve it.”The announcement of the award coincided with a rather exciting week for Mal. He says, “It’s turned out to be a great week. I just delivered my new book to Walker. Always a nervous event, it’s called Life: An Exploded Diagram and is about a teenage love affair, nuclear missiles, mad families and explosions. Life doesn’t get much better than when you finish a novel and win the Guardian prize in the same week as your birthday and your wedding anniversary. I pass people in the street and hear them mutter, ‘who’s that grinning loon?’.”

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