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June 06, 2008

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Meg

Perhaps not a disaster, but it does seem a little pointless: Publishers spend millions ensuring that children's books appeal to their target age range. My biggest concern is those children with lower reading abilities - their confidence is already pretty low and they could probably do without the extra blow. It is better for less able readers to be encouraged to read anything they like in order to build their confidence and I feel stickers will narrow their choices because of the embarrassment issue. I hope it doesn't last.

AliB

Well said, that man.
1. Children's writers are told to be clear on which 'market' they have in mind, which I assume means 'age-group'.
2. Bookshops and libraries have always separated books into rough age-band categories, haven't they? I don't see that an extra sticker will make much odds.
The only problem would be if the banding was so in your face as to seem like a prescription rather than a useful suggestion. If I were to buy a book for a child (now that mine are grown up) I'd welcome a bit of guidance.
AliB

Jan Mayo

I read this with interest as an avid reader with 3 daughters who are avid readers. Choosing books can be a minefield. At 10yrs of age and fluent confident readers books aimed at their reading level are often in the teenage section of the library. At age 10 I am not happy for them to be reading about teenaged relationships. I am not a prude nor do I believe in censorship for the sake of it, but I feel there is a need for guidelines similar to that of films. Parental guidance is the key, I think, and parents need information to enable them to provide that guidance.

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