Ideal Age

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What exactly is a children's book?

If we are never too old for any good book, we can be too young, and this is where people make mistakes: competitive parents and teachers in particular, who want children to read above their age. But books are age-banded by publishers and reviewers not so much on the basis of stylistic difficulty but on emotional content. Few people consider the distinction. Jacqueline Wilson?s Girls In Love/In Trouble/Out Late/Under Pressure series, for instance, is aimed at teenagers with a not very advanced reading age; but the books are read ubiquitously by bright eight-year-olds perfectly able to cope with the language, even if the dating issues do not reflect their experience.

Nicolette Jones uses the announcement of the Carnegie shortlist as the occasion for an excellent meditation on the ideal age for reading particular books.

Highly recommended

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This page contains a single entry by achuka published on April 30, 2004 6:40 PM.

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