Buoyed up by David Almond’s beautiful description (21 November) of his inspiration for writing A Song for Ella Grey, which has just won the Guardian children’s book prize, I went out and bought two copies for my 12-year-old grandchildren. I trusted him, and I trusted the Guardian – I would never buy a Carnegie medal winner without reading it first.

In the first five pages there is lesbian love, swearing, drinking, and enough other indications that, once again, this is not a book for children. Children are people up to the age of 12. They are not grownups of 17. The books are going straight back to Waterstones.

Woe to us who really do write for children! No prizes for us. Publishing is not a children’s world any more.
Lynne Reid Banks
Shepperton, Surrey

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