13 Nov '14

News Violence in teen fiction goes in the dock

Do authors of YA novels glamorise crime, or help readers to avoid it? In the wake of the murder of teacher Ann Maguire, authors answer charges of glamorising violenceTen days before 15-year-old schoolboy Will Cornick stabbed his Spanish teacher Ann Maguire to death in front of his classmates, one of her former students, teen novelist Anthony McGowan, celebrated the launch of a film based on his novel The Knife that Killed Me. Cornick, who had planned a murder spree, told psychiatrists afterwards that he couldnt give a shit everything Ive done is fine and dandy. And in a chilling case of art anticipating life, McGowans novel, which was nominated for numerous awards including the Guardian childrens fiction prize, tells the story of a fatal stabbing in a school based on Corpus Christi College in Leeds where he, too, had once been taught by Ann Maguire.Meanwhile another teen author, Alan Gibbons, also hit the headlines appearing alongside the mother of Sophie Lancaster, in a launch event at the murdered womans Lancashire school. Gibbonss novel Hate, which is based on Sophies murder, offers an unflinching portrait of hate crime amongst young people. Continue reading...

Read the full story in Guardian Education
Log in Join