Friday, 31 October 2008

Age ranging part 5

Time for another round-up on the campaign against age-ranging, which has its own site, No to Age Banding with lists of supporters and their comments. Perhaps the most impassioned is Philip Pullman's speech to The Society of Authors Conference. CILIP has also issued a statement in favour of the campaign which appears on the site, and which has generated some publicity in the Guardian and the Bookseller. More comment is forthcoming from the States, e.g. in Read Roger, the blog of the editor of The Horn Book magazine, Roger Sutton. While generally supportive, he's a bit critical of Pullman's speech, or "rhetorical pearls" as he puts it. Roger feels the speech is too much about the feelings of the authors and illustrators, whom Pullman calls "the people who matter most", and not enough about the feelings of the children who will be reading the books:

"They are the people who matter most in this question. They are the ones who will have to suffer walking around with a book they want to read but are officially too mature for; they are the ones who will be told "you aren't ready" for a book deemed Too Hard. The problem with the age-banding proposal is not that it ignores authors, it's that it ignores young readers."

It's difficult to fault that.

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