World Book Day is today!

It's World Book Day once again – comes around quite quickly doesn’t it – too quickly  if you are a parent of a primary school child expected to dress imaginatively yet appropriately for the health and safety requirements of the playground.  I particularly admire the efforts of the World Book Day people in encouraging reading for young adults in these dying days of the book. 

The list of 50 books you must read offers a few surprises amongst the ubiquitous Blackman, Morpurgo and Rowling.  I think any teenager amused by the nonsense of "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" who then picks up "The Time Travellers' Wife" might get a bit of a surprise but then I am sure we all have happy memories of devouring books our parents/teachers would have deemed unsuitable.  I guess that was our version of cruising the internet without the constraints of the parental control lock.

It's always useful  to get some recommendations about what might be a good read when you are faced with a wall of book spines in the library/bookshop or to provoke debate about current kids’ book choices. 

News about the lack of challenging reading attempted by children abound. The author of the "What are Kids Reading?" report, Professor Keith Topping, is critical about the role played by teachers and librarians.  He suggests that they "are not encouraging students to attack more difficult books to a sufficient degree.”   That’s a bit harsh and isn’t backed up by my experience of the reading evangelists I’ve met in school libraries and classroom. 

Another factor influencing reading choice for teenagers is the pressure on children to read a specified number of books per term (passing Accelerated Reader tests along the way as evidence  A logical choice would favour shorter/easier rather than challenging/more complex as  the way to ensure reward.  Maybe it's indicative of our levels-obsessed education system that children aren't curling up on the sofa developing an enduring reading habit.  That and the Playstation, X-Box, Facebook, etc etc

Anyway – to headline reading for a day is a good thing  and so “Happy World Book Day” to you.  Reading anything interesting?

– Anne

One comment to this post

  •  :  This is an interesting piece about book ownership in the UK and the suggested wealth divide <a href="" rel="nofollow"></a>

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