Saturday, March 04, 2006

Books Parents Hate?

Mick Hume contributes an intriguing piece on books parents don't want their children to read to the Times. In Hume's case, he's not a fan of Jacqueline Wilson.

Hume writes, "I don’t want my two young daughters to read Jacqueline Wilson books. Yes, I know, she is wonderful — the children’s laureate, most-borrowed author in libraries, 20 million books sold, 'every girl’s best friend' and so on, but this is one friendship of which I disapprove. " Why does Hume disapprove? Because, "Wilson’s books present 'real life' as an apparently relentless ordeal of divorce, bullying, abuse, redundancy and repossession; where parents never understand, most people are unhappy and your only refuge is to find a best friend and console each other."

Hume admits, however, "Nothing, alas, appeals to a child more than finding an author their parents dislike. Enid Blyton was probably the first of this kind." And he's right there. If Hume is a good parent (as I'm sure he is), he's powerless to his girls' tastes. He concludes, "Secretly, of course, I’m all for a bit of rebellious reading, but it would take away the fun for them if I said so."

Isn't that the truth! Too bad we couldn't introduce Hume to Camille's Know-Nothings over at Book Moot. He'd teach them a lesson or two.

For years I wanted to shield my children from The Berenstain Bears, but to no avail. The both loved them and I've read each and every Berenstain book one hundred times.