Meg Rosoff wins top children′s literature award for bravery and humor | Books | DW | 05.04.2016
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Meg Rosoff wins top children's literature award for bravery and humor

Meg Rosoff doesn't shy away from life's big issues in her novels for young readers - from marital strife to the existence of God. Her ability to reach hearts and heads has won her the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award.

"Meg Rosoff's young adult novels speak to the emotions as well as the intellect," jury chair Boel Westin said on Tuesday (05.04.2016) in Stockholm. "In sparkling prose, she writes about the search for meaning and identity in a peculiar and bizarre world. Her brave and humorous stories are one-of-a-kind. She leaves no reader unmoved."

The American-British youth author is this year's winner of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, which is named for the Swedish creator of Pippi Longstocking. Rosoff, who lives in London, is best known for her 2004 novel "How I Live Now," which received the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize in Britain and the Printz Award in the US.

"There is No Dog," a comic novel putting a 19-year-old boy in the role of God, and "Picture Me Gone," a parent-child mystery starring a 12-year-old mentalist, are Rosoff's most recent works.

The author was born in Boston to a Jewish family in 1956 and lived alternately in the US and the UK after graduating from Harvard University. She is now based in London.

On her website, Rosoff offers tips for budding writers. She lists a few dozen unusual and very diverse experiences she's had, from "paddling a kayak next to a giant sea lion" and "having 18 hours of childbirth" to jumping a five bar fence" with her eyes closed and "playing miniature golf with Dave Letterman in his office."

"All my life I despaired at being a jack of all trades and master of none, but it all proved fantastically useful when I started writing," concluded the successful author.

Highest award for children's literature

The most prestigious accolade for children's and young adult literature, the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, is presented annually to a single laureate or to several and is endowed with 5 million Swedish crowns ($615,000).

Authors, illustrators, oral storytellers and reading promoters are eligible for the prize, which was founded by the Swedish government in 2002 to promote interest in children's and young adult literature.

Previous winners includethe Project for the Study of Alternative Education in South Africa (2015), Swedish author Barbro Lindgren (2014) and Argentinean illustrator Isol (2013).

Click through the gallery below to visit the home of the late Swedish children's author Astrid Lindgren, the creator of Pippi Longstocking and namesake of the literature prize.

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