I’m talking books for children here. At least, so far, that’s where the discussion centers. The United Kingdom has been considering labeling children’s books with age-bandings.
According to the paper The Scotsman, though, they’ve run into a bit of a snag. Authors aren’t happy about the prospect of kids (and parents) being told which books are appropriate for which age group.
Phillip Pullman, best-selling author of the His Dark Materials trilogy said:
“Declaring that a book is for any group in particular means excluding every other group, and I don’t want to exclude anybody”Now, they’ve gotten support from the superstar JK Rowling. She’s signed an online petition against the idea.
The petition’s supporters also contend that printing age ranges on books would threaten literacy levels. Reluctant readers or those with dyslexia, for example, might easily be embarrassed if caught with books clearly labelled as being aimed at much younger readers.Despite the protests of writers, age banding is already underway:
… award-winning Edinburgh-based writer Keith Gray launches his latest novel, Ostrich Boys. Like any writer, he is aiming for as wide a readership as possible, from children aged around 11 or 12 to adults.What do you think about this idea?
To his dismay, his publishers have insisted that the cover exclude most of these readers with just one word. “Teens”, it proclaims in print – not even on a removable sticker.
“Would those queues for Harry Potter have been so long if the books had had a ‘Teens’ sticker?”