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Children's fiction comes of age

Three cheers for Philip Pullman. No, let's make that four! His win in the Whitbread book award (TES, January 25) will have cheered everybody in the children's book world.

The Dark Materials trilogy isn't just a landmark in children's literature. It is a seminal work in postwar fiction, displaying an ambition and imaginative sweep far beyond the grasp of most adult novelists.

It is probably high time to salute others who have shown the true quality of children's fiction: J K Rowling, of course; Bob Swindells; Berlie Doherty, Malorie Blackman and so many others.

The only logical outcome of Pullman's well-deserved win would surely be for our national newspapers to start giving children's literature the same kind of weekly coverage they give to supposedly adult fiction.

Alan Gibbons, teacher and children's author, Liverpool

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