Author Sir Philip Pullman is the winner of this year’s J M Barrie Award, given annually in recognition of a lifetime’s achievement in delighting children.
Vicky Ireland, chair of Action for Children’s Arts, which organises the award, said: “The Trustees selected Sir Philip Pullman as the winner of the ACA J M Barrie Award 2019, for his outstanding talent as a storyteller who appeals to all ages, especially to the young. We consider him a magical, magnificent spinner of yarns, who for many years has pulled his readers and audiences in by the power of his imagination to explore realms of wonder and adventure.
“Children need help to think and feel, to grow strong in their convictions, to empathise and to love. Stories can do this, and Philip Pullman’s stories go a great way in inspiring his readers to test their emotions and develop their imaginations in the most marvellous way possible. What better way to recognise and celebrate this lovely man’s talent, than with a lifetime accolade.”
The prize is given annually by Action for Children’s Arts (ACA) and previous winners include Sir Michael Morpurgo, Bernard Cribbins and Baroness Floella Benjamin.
The award will be presented at a ceremony in central London in the autumn.
ACA Trustees are also awarding Breathe Arts Health Research an outstanding contribution award for their ‘Magic Programme’, which teaches young people with hemiplegia to do magic.
Pullman is one of the UK’s most successful authors and has sold 6.9 million books for £48.4m through Nielsen BookScan. The three titles in the His Dark Materials series have sold nearly 2.4 million copies.
His next book, The Secret Commonwealth, will be released in October.