Linkalicious: Projects and programs from the UK

Some more random linkish things, this time on a couple reading programs in the UK:

Free Book Plan To Keep Children Reading “All 11-year-olds in England are to be given a free book from a list of 12, to encourage them to continue reading for pleasure at an age when many give up.”

Cool. Especially since the list contains Eva Ibbotson (Journey to the River Sea), Phillip Reeve (Mortal Engines) and Hilary McKay (Saffy’s Angel). They’ve made a deliberate decision not to include big-name authors like J.K. Rowling, Jacqueline Wilson (who is more popular in the UK than North America, I think, though at least most of her books have been released over here), and Philip Pullman, for the perfectly legitimate reason that a lot of kids are already familiar with their books and this way, they will hopefully get something new.

160 books on must-read list for boys – full of blood, guts and class heroes “A list of the top 160 books for teenage boys will be published today by the Education Secretary in an ambitious attempt to encourage them to read more for pleasure and keep up with girls at secondary school.”

Education secretary arranges boys’ bookshelves “The education secretary, Alan Johnson, who yesterday launched his campaign for the Labour party’s deputy leadership, announced this morning that every state secondary school in England will be able to choose 20 of the titles in order to set up a dedicated “boys’ bookshelf” in the library.” And some responses:

  • Bad books won’t get boys reading “The Department of Education’s list of books designed to encourage reading among teenage boys may actually put them off.”
  • The wrong kind of reading lessons “The fact that adventure stories for boys are selling well is seen as a good thing, but such old-fashioned books are also teaching them worryingly outdated attitudes.”
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