Young Writers: 23rd year (Heinemann Educational Books £2.95) This paperback volume of winning entries for the 1981 W. H. Smith Young Writers' Competition makes fascinating reading. It contains a whole range • of stories and poems by children between the ages of four and sixteen from every kind of school in • the country. It is also imaginatively illustrated by children in the same age-range. Sonic of the prize-winning poems, however, seemed to me to be particularly unpoetic. Is no one going to write verse that rhymes any more'?
All the same, An Astronaut Spacewalking, a short poem by Neil Davies aged 12 was picked Out by a knowledgeable ten-yearold 'because of its mysterious feeling'. He also enjoyed a tale called Mother Always Knows Best by Sara Partington aged 12, %%filch is 'a very weird story which .tells of an evil, greedy Stepmother Irving to find a hidden treasure'.
It is a gruesome little piece, as are many of the others in this interesting book which so well reflects the thoughts of many young people of the 1980s.