Writer and journalist Amanda Craig has lost her job as children’s book reviewer at the Times.
Craig said she is “deeply sad” that the newspaper is moving its children’s book reviewing in-house in a bid to save money. "I've always ignored hype and gone for what I loved, and have been proud to be the first to spot J K Rowling, Philp Pullman, Cressida Cowell, Francesca Simon and Suzanne Collins among others.
"Children's literature is one of Britain's greatest national treasures and it's not something you can hope to cover well in-house," she told The Bookseller.
She added that she had been "touched" by an outpouring of support and hoped to move to another national "with a more far-sighted vision of how readers are made".
Clare Hall-Craggs, publicity director at Random House, said the Times had lost an important industry voice.
“I hope another paper snaps her up very quickly and boosts their coverage,” she said, pointing out that it is very important for national newspapers to publish proper reviews of children’s books. “A lot of heavy readers look at reviews in print, they don’t go online,” she said.
Craig has received much support on Twitter, including from authors. Neil Gaiman said he was "enormously disappointed" by the decision to lose her, calling her "a perceptive champion of children's books". Francesca Simon said Craig had been one of her early champions and called the newspaper "crazy to lose her expertise".
The Times has not yet responded to a request for comment. Literary editor Robbie Millen, who was appointed in August to replace Erica Wagner, is not thought to have instigated Craig's departure.