Video Game Kids Want Violence in Books, Says Writer

Article excerpt

Byline: Alasdair Glennie TV Correspondent

CHILDREN'S books are becoming increasingly violent because they have to compete with gory video games, a bestselling author has claimed. Robert Muchamore - whose hit Cherub series has sold more than 8million copies worldwide - said youngsters are more and more desensitised to violence because they see it so often on their TV and computer screens.

But he is happy to put 'brutal' material in his own children's books as long as it passes what he terms the 'East-Enders test', meaning anything that could be featured in the gritty BBC soap would be acceptable in his stories.

The writer told the Daily Mail: 'My competition is not Swallows And Amazons or Enid Blyton. My competition is Halo 5, Grand Theft Auto and the Avengers Assemble movie. I think if you make kids' books twee and say there should be no violence and they should be about nice cosy worlds then it is like fighting with one arm tied behind your back.

'My EastEnders test is quite a nice one, as it is still the most watched programme in the country by teens. When I'm writing something I ask, "Would this get by in EastEnders?".' In 2011, Mr Muchamore's books were banned from the library of Highgate Junior School in north London after parents complained they were unsuitable for their children.

The 41-year-old claims it was a misunderstanding prompted when he was booked to speak to the school's primary age children. …