Getting Kids Reading

December 26, 2011

Now for a juvenile, literary edition of…


People who are all like “we’ve got to get kids reading!”

There’s been ads for James Patterson books on TV, and some recent ones start off with “James Patterson gets kids reading!” Because he’s apparently written young adult lit now, so it shows a pre-teen reading from a book about middle school.

Because if there’s anyone who truly knows what middle school is like, it’s authors in their sixties!

But, what, they couldn’t just advertise the book? They have to include some crap about “getting kids reading”?

That takes away the “here’s something you’ll enjoy” factor and turns it into yet another “getting kids to do things adults want them to be doing”. Okay, the implication seems to be “it gets them reading BECAUSE it’s enjoyable”, but it still makes it being enjoyable to the young reader secondary to satisfying some cliched expectation. Because, after all, the world cares nothing for kids’ personal desires and cares entirely for what adults desire for them.

Also, maybe someone should tell these adults that when kids are reading, they’re generally -gasp!- inside and sitting! Oh noes, they’re getting fat! So send them outside to get exercise. Then bitch that they aren’t reading enough.

One thought on “Getting Kids Reading”

  1. You make a good point. But all else being equal, I’d rather have a book promoted as “It will get your kids reading,” than promoted as, “It will teach your kids the lessons you want them to learn.” At least this suggests YA books should be written to please actual YA’s rather than pleasing parents.

    Yeah, it’s sad that the advertising for a YA book has to be aimed at the parents, but at least this one seems to be sending parents the right message: Buy your children books they will actually enjoy.

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