I haven’t read it, but it seems Carnegie medal winner, Bunker Diary, is just too depressing for children, even teens.
From what its critics are saying, the book isn’t just about a grim situation, which has been the case before (think A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness) – the real objection is that there doesn’t to be a point to the story’s nastiness.
I’ll have to read the book to comment properly, but I thought I’d reproduce a comment I wrote in response to a Facebook post by a friend. The post referenced the Telegraph article by Lorna Bradbury, which described Brooks’ novel as ‘a vile and dangerous story’, as well a piece in The Guardian, from which the following was quoted:
‘Brooks himself pointed out that “young people are wise enough, if they are watching or reading something they don’t like, to stop doing it. They are not idiots.”My two sen worth:
‘We mustn’t assume that all teens and kids have the support network they need to deal with difficult books, complex issues etc. I’m not for censorship and I think kids of all ages should be allowed to choose what they read, but I do think there’s a dangerous side to there being no restrictions to what gets written about. In a perfect world there are informed, wise and open-minded parents and educators who will be there for the kids but in reality that’s rarely the case. And no, from what I’ve observed in my years teaching, not all kids know when to stop reading. Or understand what they’re reading. Or have people to help them deal with stuff that upsets them. This is no reason to stop writers from writing about certain subjects though, or restricting access to “dodgy” books. Obviously it’s a knotty problem that needs addressing on a case-by-case basis. By the way, I’d rather someone like Bradbury exists than not, and that, twit or not, she gets a platform for her views, whether or not one agrees with them. We can’t, after all, talk about freedom of choice unless we allow all aspects of every issue to be aired.’