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A Year of Books
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Anne Fine bemoans children's book realism

26th August 2009

Former children's laureate Anne Fine has criticised the realism of literature, which she claims has 'gone too far'.

Speaking at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, the Flour Babies author believes that modern books do not offer children any hope, adding that younger people have become too concerned with realism.

She told the festival audience: 'In the fifties, when a strong child was dealing with difficult circumstances, there was always a rescue at the end of the book.'

Fine added that modern books do not offer as much hope and tend not to have the same happy ending as older works.

'I am not sure that we are opening doors for children who read these books, or helping them to develop their aspirations.'

She said that the change has occurred because older books started to be considered too unrealistic.

Fine's works include The Worst Child I Ever Had, Crummy Mummy and Me and Madame Doubtfire, which was adapted for the screen in the film Mrs Doubtfire, starring Robin Williams.

The Edinburgh International Book Festival comes to an end on August 31st, with children's authors including Michael Rosen and Neil Gaiman among those taking part.

© W&G Foyle Ltd
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