All 11-year-olds in the UK will get a free book from a list of twelve in an effort to keep them reading between middle- and high school (when they have the love of reading beaten out of them with a bludgeon called the “content quiz”). One book should about do it. That ought to hold them until they’re 18 and then can take up reading the paper instead.
The choice of books was made by a panel of experts, including booksellers, librarians, teachers and journalists, and aims to represent a diverse mix of levels and styles. The omission of the current crop of big name children’s writers such as JK Rowling, Philip Pullman and Jacqueline Wilson is a deliberate attempt to encourage the year seven readers to try something new. Authors on the new list include Philip Reeve, Malorie Blackman and Eva Ibbotson.
According to Booktrust, the charity that runs the scheme, “secondary school children are less likely to find reading difficult than they did 10 years ago but their enjoyment of reading has declined rapidly – one in four children now say they find it boring.”
What is it? The recycled Harry Potter stories making stabs at money at the expense of your little minds? Tell us! We’ll do whatever it takes to continue pillaging your fragile demographic… Uh… And by that I of course mean, furthering your education and enjoyment.