Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Defending Childhood

There's been a debate raging in the British press and on Child_Lit about whether or not childhood is being destroyed by junk culture, food and schooling. Psychologists, educators, entertainers, and writers expressed their concern about the assault on childhood and resulting rates of childhood depression and GP Taylor has cried claptrap, claiming kids are happier and more creative than ever.*

But Michelle Pauli, as usual, has taken a bookish approach and is seeking books that "bust the sulk" on the Guardian CultureVulture blog. Here's what Pauli has to say:
  • "My own childhood 'stroppy phase' took place in an era before there were computers and Playstations in every eight-year-old's bedroom; there wasn't much else to do after stomping upstairs to my room than to lose my sulk in a book. Anything by Noel Streatfield usually did the trick."

I have to agree with Pauli. Streatfield usually did it for me as well.

(also: Joanna Moorhead writes about the controversy and finds the kids are alright at the Independent)


*I usually ignore whatever GP Taylor has to say. If there ever has been a book I've hated more than Shadowmancer, I don't know it. (Okay, maybe Foucault's Pendulum.)