Honestly I don’t have an answer to the question! A comment from one of my colleagues, along the lines of “It’s a shame children don’t want to read classics”, has stirred the question up in my head.
I don’t remember reading many classics myself when I was younger. I know I tackled a shortened version of Black Beauty and I’ve had an interest in Shakespeare since I was eleven, but that grew mostly during sixth form. Also I read the first six Harry Potter’s during primary school if they count!
But mostly I would read fiction about horses, as this is what I was most interested in. I was very loyal to two particular series and reread them many times. Although these aren’t considered classics, they allowed me to enjoy reading and I’m not going to knock them for that.
It’s just a good story that I hope kids still read – obviously the idea of a ‘good story’ is pretty vague and a different opinion for everyone. I would just hope that they can still read for enjoyment, and don’t feel forced – a responsibility I think that is down to us as writers. Sometimes I think children’s books have become too much about looking pretty, as personally I remember the stories I’ve read rather than the accompanying images.
Mostly, and I realise this post is very spaced out and nonsensical, I wanted to write this to see what you all think of current children’s books? What did you enjoy reading when you were a kid?
On a side note, I really enjoy seeing children read Rod Campbell’s ‘Dear Zoo’ – it’s an odd fascination but it’s just nice seeing that familiar old book!