It may be a long way from traditional children’s classics, but a book about teenage heroin addiction and prostitution won Britain’s most prestigious prize for children’s literature Wednesday.
“Junk,” by Melvin Burgess, was awarded the Library Association’s Carnegie Medal at an award ceremony in London. The prize carries no monetary award, but the winner gets to donate $1,600 worth of books to a school or library of their choice.
“I didn’t sit down to write a warning, but the story tells its own cautionary tale,” said Burgess, whose brother is a heroin addict.
The book was selected by a panel of 13 children’s librarians.