2008 is the National Year of Reading. Each month from April has a theme, so I have started a site which I will update every month with an appropriate reading list.
April's theme is Read all about it - read anything and everything, anywhere and everywhere. This theme is reflected in Read up, fed up, a report from NYR based on a survey of 1340 children aged between 11 and 14 whose top ten reading choices included gossip magazines, online computer game cheats and blogs. The only books to appear were the Harry Potter series (5), Anne Frank's diary (6), books by Anthony Horowitz (8) and C S Lewis's The lion, the witch and the wardrobe (9). The Guardian and the Daily Telegraph ran pieces about this, with the Telegraph also including a commentary from Anne Fine, author and former Children's Laureate. Anne's view is that schools are raising readers used to "bits" and "snippets", and cites fan letters from children who are studying the opening lines of her novels or her use of similes and metaphors. She likens this to knowing how to take a clock apart and put it back together without understanding the purpose of telling the time, and feels that if parents want their children to read for enjoyment they should lead by example and pick up a book themselves.