Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Running Amok with Achockablog

Another blog I try to read from time to time is Achockablog, the blog of the huge, independent UK children's review website, Achuka. It's great for a different perspective on the children's publishing world.

A debate this year has been the desire of publishers to start to "age-band" their books (printing 5+, 7+, 9+, etc. on the covers) this fall; here's a short post with a link to an article about librarian opposition to the idea.

Publishers obviously want to help guide the parents who purchase books, but we know not all kids are so tidily categorized. What do you think?


Allison said...

I agree with this article posted by Librarians. I think if an age limit is placed on all children's books for kids to see, that is may discourage the slow readers who are reading 'below' their level. Not everyone reads within thier supposed level for that matter anyway as many of us as adults are going back and reading children's books.

I understand that it may help parents, but maybe parents need to be more involved with where their kids are at in their reading and thereby knowing what is the appropriate reading level or reading material for them!

Interesting debate though!

Elisabeth said...

Not a good idea. I would be interested in seeing the publishing houses'/booksellers data to see why they would consider this. Were book customers struggling that much? Really?

Jill Corrente said...

Interestingly enough, this is what I hear most from non-youth staff. "We need a tool/booklist/whatever to help us help patrons find books for third graders." Now we all know that you just can't peg a book "third grade" and be done with it, but that seems to be the burden that some people think they have.

Melissa said...

OK, more information!

Here's a short article from March of this year that has a couple paragraphs on the research that led to the age-banding initiative (the research seems to indicate that most book-buyers think it's a good idea and that 40% say they'd buy more books if they were banded).

You might also want to read Philip Pullman's speech, in which he takes issue with the stats that the publishers gathered (he doesn't trust the numbers because he says people in surveys will say what they think you want to hear or what makes them look smart).

You can also check out No To Age Banding

Melissa said...

Let me try those links again:

Short article

No To Age Banding