Monday, January 12, 2009

Computer-esque books to lure boys to reading

Here's an interesting BBC article on books with computer-generated images that strive for "truly boy-friendly" content for boys uup to the age of 9. Some are critical of the graphics and the attempt to mimic computer games which is a totally different experience than reading. I don't believe the books are out in the mainstream yet because the article states that the books, authored by Charlie Higson, have been tested in 2000 schools, and I see none are available through ALD, Prospector, or Amazon.


Monica said...

Just to clarify, Charles Higson is the author of the Young Bond Series, not these books. The article mentions him as follows: "Charlie Higson, author of the Young Bond books, welcomed the OUP's attempt to write fiction for boys, but questioned the books' reliance on computer images. "They look absolutely ghastly," he said. "They're trying to look like computer games and they're trying to get them [boys] to interact with them like a computer. "The point is that books are different to computers - that's the whole point. If kids want to play with computers, they'll play with computers, not read these stories."

I did find them on Amazon but they look to be something that is sold to the school market because the books are sold in packs of 5 and include curriclulm enhancements. I'm guessing this is something unique to Great Britain since it is a BBC article.

I always get concerned when people talk down books because they don't think they are good enough. If these books appeal to a certain segment, great! Better than not reading at all or being turned off by books.

Virginia said...

I think Monica is correct that the books are probably being used in British schools and they may just be some kids' favorite and most motivating reading material. That may last for a month or two until he/she is ready to move on to something else. It is up to those of us who know books to be ready to offer the next book to that boy or girl. That is why we as librarians have to know about all the different kinds there are.