Background artiste from 'Better than Stars'

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Please don't read my books!

... says Terry Deary, according to the Telegraph. And, do you know what? I agree with him - not that children shouldn't read his books, but that being read in schools is a risky business for a writer.

I've caused shock and horror before now amongst fellow unpublished authors when I've said that I would never want a novel of mine to be a set book. Surely any reader is a good reader?

No. As an ex-teacher of sixth formers, I've seen too many students arrive with a dislike of an author I love in place because of  the experience they've already had of them in the classroom. Of course, they loved every text they studied with me ... *ahem*

Therein lies the dilemma, and I don't know what the answer is - or rather, maybe Deary is on the right lines. Yes, children should be introduced to knowledge of history, experience of literature, etc., in as accessible a way as possible, but at the same time we should leave something for them to discover and enjoy independently.

What do you think?

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